Masters in technology (MTech) is a common term used in India and in our university education. However, in other countries a postgraduate engineering degree could be referred to as MS in engineering, Master in engineering etc.
There are a number of engineering specialisations, from mechanical to civil engineering, that students can choose from. The thumb rule before applying to any MTech university is: determine which engineering specialisation you want to take up. Rule one is to check the course content before you look at the core and elective modules, course curriculum, facilities, future prospects the course offers and also the geography / location of the university(ies). Always put your course interest first before anything else.
Do not make the mistake of choosing a university by its name alone, its popularity or by what your friends and family recommend. Instead, base it on the value of the course in the particular university. Sometimes a university could be famous for its achievements in other departments and not in the particular one you are interested in.
Never be hasty in making a university choice. Chances are, your application will end up in the trash if you don’t meet their requirements.
Entry requirements for a postgraduate degree in engineering will vary depending on the institution, type of engineering degree, and course specialisation chosen. You should have strong grades in relevant subject courses, ie science, mathematics, computer science or other relevant engineering subject.
Post shortlisting, you should fill in the application forms minimum six to eight months prior to the general deadline and start preparing a Statement of Purpose (SOP) and Letters of Recommendation (LOR). Early preparation is recommended because Visa processes can get delayed sometimes, which may lead to your application being deferred. If you are applying for scholarships or fee waivers, your must start your application 8 months prior to the deadline.
Generally, the required average academic score to pursue postgraduate degree in engineering is 60% (and above). However, top ranking universities will require scores of 80% and above. This doesn’t mean that students with a 50% academic score will not be able to study abroad. There are various lower ranking universities that accept 50% score.
Students with scores of 50% to 70% can look for universities in countries like New Zealand, the US, the UK, Ireland, China and Australia. Students with 70% can look for universities in countries like Canada, Germany, Singapore. That said, all top ranking universities (globally) require a minimum of 80% to qualify.
A mandatory standard test for language is also required like IELTS/TOEFL/PTE, which will differ from one country to another. In some countries, you will be required to take up competitive exams such as GRE/GMAT to prove your competency. Ensure you take these tests six to nine months prior to the application deadline. This is necessary in case of repetition so that you have enough time to retake the test. Book the test in advance so that requested test dates are available.
Lastly, but not the least, check the duration of the course in the particular university or country. It should normally range from 1 to 2 years. For students looking for a permanent residency or post-study-work options, you should be very particular while choosing the country.
The author is co-founder and MD of education consultancy, The Chopras