10 May 2021 21:35 IST

Choosing the right university in the US

Source: Unsplash

‘You have to ask yourself what USP you bring to an employer’s table compared to locals with similar skills’

How do you pick the right university for the course you want to do in the US, say, an MBA with a specialisation in marketing, given that there are countless options? -Varun

I would question the wisdom of pursuing a marketing MBA in the US unless you plan to return to India for your career. Marketing programmes are not STEM-certified, so your OPT duration will be limited to a year. Countries employ generous skilled worker visa programmes to encourage international students with skills not present in native populations to eventually immigrate. Americans are world leaders in marketing and there is no dearth of qualified Americans to fill marketing positions.

You have to ask yourself what USP you bring to an employer’s table when there are locals with similar skills, authorisation to work and better knowledge of the landscape. The best way to pick the right university is to not look too closely at traditional selection factors, such as reputations of professors, their research, or school ranking. Think ahead. Study the macroeconomics of the region. How is the economy doing? Unemployment rates? GDP growth? Are there industries in decline? Is Corporate America investing in the region? A college in Austin or Silicon Valley is vastly superior to a college in Missouri or Oklahoma.