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Sunday, August 14, 2011

E & C in MBA or Civil Services after B.Tech, microsoft certified systems engineer (MCSE) course, Career in Analytics, How to prepare for GMAT, Selecting an happening career, US ADMISSION : scholarships for the spring semester

E & C in  MBA or Civil Services after B.Tech, microsoft certified systems engineer (MCSE) course, Career in Analytics, How to prepare for GMAT, Selecting an happening career, US ADMISSION : scholarships for the spring semester

CAREER DILEMMA : MBA or Civil Services after B.Tech

I am a third year student of BTech engineering. I am confused about what course to choose — an MBA or Civil Services. What would be a better option?
   Shagorika Basu

The MBA route will lead to a career in the corporate sector, while IAS will lead to a career in the government impacting the lives of the public. The MBA route would help you to play a role in the success of private companies making a difference to the bottom line and reach of one company/organisation's business while the IAS will allow you to make a difference to the lives of a wider public. Life is good on both sides, but the decision of which is better would depend upon your perception and priorities in life. Selection for the IIMs as also in the IAS, would be very competitive.

BACKUP CHOICE : Selecting an happening career

After doing my BBA, I am now pursuing MBA from IP University. I have decided to take finance as my major subject but I am confused between taking marketing, information technology and international business as my minor subject. As a result, I am unable to decide the specific line in which I would like to make my career. If I opt for a career in research or logistics or stock broking, which subject would be more helpful? I will be grateful if you could help me in this matter.

   Debjyot Kaushik

In an indirect manner, all the three areas you have mentioned — marketing, IT or international business can be connected to finance. One way to select your choice of minor is to think of which area after finance you would choose (or are better suited for) as a 'backup' job/career. As you have already decided on finance as the area you will be majoring in, the choice of minor should then be based more on the subjects that you enjoy.

microsoft certified systems engineer (MCSE) course
Could you please tell me the minimum eligibility criterion for the microsoft certified systems engineer (MCSE) course? Please also suggest some institutes that provide the course and the future job prospects.

   Anmol Gehlot

You have not mentioned your current academic status, but you can do the MCSE/MCSD course along with your graduation although the general profile of those attempting the exam is people with three-four years of experience in the industry who are trying to improve their prospects. Moreover, you also have several choices. For instance, you could look at a certification in networking like MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) — globally recognised for LAN design, implementation, administration, trouble-shooting, creating web servers, etc. The Windows platform enjoys a customer-base running into millions.
   The full certification involves clearing seven papers. After you clear the first paper, you will get the MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional) card. Clearing four papers will equip you with knowledge of LAN networking to start working in the technical support area. The passing mark is 80-90% per-exam. Along with that you can continue to prepare for the remaining papers or acquiring a CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Administrator) certification. While MCSE certification is fine for handling 500-1,000 client/seat establishments, broadband, internet and intranet environments are better served by Cisco-certified experts.
   So if you are looking for better value-addition, CCNA will give you expertise in ISP (Internet Software Protocol), ASP (Application Software Protocol), WAN (Wide Area Networking), etc. It will also teach you how to design, build, and maintain global computer networks from a single location. This involves clearing exams at four levels — 1) associate level 2) professional level 3) expert level 4) specialist level. Make sure you register for the course at a Microsoft Authorised Training Centre. The intake is typically restricted to 15-20 students per session. The passing mark is about 90%.


Could you please tell me if a career in analytics is good for a BTech graduate? Would an MBA degree suit that profile well?
   Ritwik Ahuja

Knowledge Process Outsourcing or KPO has given a new dimension to the outsourcing industry in India. KPO differs from BPO in that they require specialised knowledge and skills and often require qualified professionals (lawyers, engineers, doctors, etc). KPO services also tend to be more qualitative and judgment based. In short, they are higher IQ jobs. Analytics is the process of analysing (raw)
data to unearth hidden patterns, understand trends, and draw meaningful conclusions to help in business modelling, decision-making, and forecasting. It uses computers, mathematics and statistics as its tools. Thus as an engineer you possess the requisite skills.


Could you please tell me how to prepare for GMAT? From where can I get the US government ranking of American B-schools?


The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is designed to help business schools assess the qualifications and potential of applicants for advanced study in business and management. To begin, log on to and click on 'Take the GMAT' and scroll down to 'Tools to help you prepare' for GMAT test taking strategies. For a list of MBA schools, log on to www.educationusa., click on 'Find a School' and go to MBA programmes in the left margin under 'Graduate.' The search options will generate a long list of B-schools. When you ask for the best management schools, you are basically considering rankings. The US government does not rank universities, hence there's no official source to begin with. However, some of the popular private rankings are those compiled by the US News & World Report or The Princeton Review or BusinessWeek.
   Make sure you understand the specific methodology and criteria on which the rankings are based (and be particularly wary of rankings that don't explain the criteria on which they are based). While this could be a good starting point, the 'best' B-school for you would be the one that best matches your profile and preferences. You need to prioritise your preferences and be realistic in terms of matching your background with the B-schools you plan to shortlist. Weigh the strength of the B-school in terms of quality, competitiveness, programme design, special features of the programmes offered. Then consider admissions requirements, cost effectiveness, internship opportunities, placement and lastly scholarship possibilities for foreign students.

US ADMISSION : scholarships for the spring semester

I am a final year student of BTech electrical engineering. I am planning to apply to universities in the US for admission to the spring semester next year. But my friends are saying that it's very difficult to get scholarships for the spring semester. Is it true? Should I apply for fall 2013 instead?

   Danish Trehan

As an international student it is better to apply for the fall semester admission, mainly for three reasons. Firstly, financial aid is relatively easier to get in the fall semester than in the spring semester. Secondly, though not perhaps as important, February is one of the coldest months in many parts of the US. It is therefore not a particularly good time to have your first stint with snow — especially if you're not a native of the Himalayas. And finally, more students are admitted in the fall semester than in the spring semester, so naturally your chances of getting in are greater. Timing your moves correctly while applying to a US varsity is a most crucial factor. So when should you start the application process? At least 18 months in advance of your intended date of enrolment. For example, if you wish to enrol in the Fall session: August/September 2013, you should ideally start the process around April 2012. Also, do browse the net for college rankings and other useful info. There are plenty of websites including  and .

pursue a career on the basis of current trends?

Is it advisable to pursue a career on the basis of current trends? For instance, if information technology is a 'happening' career, then should one go for it?
   Mihika Saha

While planning your career it is important to keep employment trends and scope for advancement in mind. Selecting a 'happening' career, which offers more openings, is ok from the short-term perspective of getting a job. Flowing with the tide is perfect when the 'happening' career also matches your priorities, skills, aptitude, abilities and interests. But, don't take on jobs for which your personality and abilities are not suited because your chances of success would be low. There are no good jobs or bad jobs, nor is there a 'future' in any job. Remember, the future lies in the person who holds the job. So at the end of the day, its better to choose something you like, lest be forced to like what you get.

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