6 Important Criteria to Choose the Best University for Your Studies

Choosing your studies or the university to do your Bachelor, Master or PhD degree is not as easy as you think and it takes longer than you expected in the first place. If you already have an idea or actually know what you want to do in the future and want to build a career on it later, the decision is not that difficult. But there are other factors you should consider.


1. Programme of studies

When you know your field of studies the next step is to see which country is best to choose. For example, when you are interested in language studies, the best you can do, is to study it in the country, this particular language is spoken. This will be a great advantage for you, since you will learn to speak like a person, who lives there, and you have the chance to practice and improve yourself every day. If you are interested in majors like economics, biology, engineering, medicine etc., you should do a research on the best universities, which are specialized in these fields.

2. Official language(s)

Another point you may need to acknowledge is the language(s) spoken in the country of your choice. Ask yourself the following questions: 1. Do I speak ….(the official language)? If yes, is my level of knowledge high enough to study in a university? If not, do I need to take language courses before starting the semester abroad? Is it a must for the university I am applying at?
In some universities there are also programmes in English if you don’t speak the official language.

3. Duration of your studies

Are you interested in a Bachelor degree, which normally lasts 3 years? (in some countries it is 4 years or more). Or a 2-year-Master’s degree? The main question is why you want to study abroad. Are you looking for different experiences or do you want to work abroad after you get your university degree? I am asking this, because it is vital to get informed about the degree recognition. There are many people, who studied abroad and couldn’t get a recognition of their university diploma in their
home country or it took a long time and money to make it. If I were you, I would get informed about that beforehand.

4. Central or more suburban areas?

shutter_1934.jpgCentral areas offer a wide range of opportunities. That can mean finding a job easily, whether full-time or part-time, travelling to and from there without big inconveniences, getting easy access to banks, post offices, city center etc. For some, especially young students, night life is a crucial aspect to consider, something, which varies from city to city. In smaller cities, there will be less night clubs and bars than in the central ones. Although some find it dull and not at all exciting, for others it is a relief not having too many distractions during their studies. But everyone should choose according to their own personal likes and dislikes.

5. Tuition fees/financial aspects

The tuition fees is another fact to take into account before making your final decision. Most universities have tuition fees. If you or your parents can afford them, it is not a problem. If not, there are ways to get the necessary amount such as scholarships if you have good grades, student loans, student jobs. There are many part-time jobs for students, who want to work and study at the same time. There are also part-time study programmes. It does take longer to graduate, but you can study and make some money at the same time. Of course, there are countries, which don’t demand fees in most cases, like Greece for instance. Since last year, most universities in Germany are without tuition fees.

6. Weather/climate

The weather is probably the last and less important thing to think about. If it is just for 2 years, I think most of the people could put up with a not-so-perfect-for-them-weather. For a longer period of time, it might be something to consider, if a place like Finland or maybe Sweden is unbearably cold or on the other hand countries like Spain, Italy, Greece etc. are too warm for people coming from northern countries or not warm enough for others coming from more southern countries.

A little advice

shutter1445.jpgApply in many different universities, even if you are not that interested in going. Things don’t always come the way we would like them to. You might not get accepted in the university of your first choice, but maybe you will get in the second one. Minimize the search by excluding universities, which don’t have the programmes you are looking for. Start by putting the most crucial factors in an order, taking into account the priorities you want to set. For example, programme of studies is the most important, the second one is the language or the tuition fees… This may clear some things up and help you make a decision.

This process is sometimes hard and exhausting, but it is really worth it! Having a diploma in something you really enjoy or even love, is something huge and with big value and importance! Besides for the diploma you receive in the end, you win so much more. You learn about different cultures and have the chance to live multicultural experiences, you meet new people in your life and you see the world with a different eye than you used to in the past!


21 July 2015 / by / in ,
10 Important Criteria When Choosing Your Master’s

When choosing a Master’s programme, it is essential to consider several factors in order to make the best decision possible for the sake of securing an education that will allow the student to reach his or her potential. University life is not only an educational experience anymore but a means of preparing for the future and the challenges of the job market. Therefore, the most evident or the easiest choices are not practical anymore.

Students who wish to apply for a Master’s programme are already acquainted with the proceedings of the system of higher education, its expectations and limitations. The experience acquired at an institution however is now all-defining, it is possible to continue by studying something else, even at an entirely different university. The following criteria were selected to help you decide on how to proceed.

1) What is interesting to you.
This factor may seem evident but it still needs to be considered. What you study must interest you because it will motivate you more, resulting in better grades and possible recommendations from your teachers. However, it may be entirely possible that what you are studying, although interesting, will not contribure to securing a good job. Some disciplines are less profitable and you need to be aware of this. Is it possible to turn your interests into a hobby instead of your career. However, if your are completely set on a path, look for job opportunities, the sooner the better to ease the fears you might have. It is still better to choose a less lucrative path than fail at something you have absolutely no interest in.

2) Do you have the necessary prerequisites?
If you managed to gain a Bachelor’s degree at your university, it does not mean that you will be automatically accepted to their Master’s programme. Be aware of the prerequisites. Most institutions take into considerations the grade of your diploma, so be sure to put a lot of work and time into it. Some majors require entrance essays, others interviews, and there may even be a list of topics that you can be questioned on. Be sure to get enough information because it would be senseless to fail due to a technicality. It is also a good idea to ask other students who have already been accepted to share their experience with you. Also, make sure to arrive at the entrance exam prepared with all the necessary papers to make a good impression.

3) What can be useful for your future career?
If you have already chosen a career, or even if you already have a job, your current or future bosses may require the knowledge of specific disciplines. University is the best place to learn another language or acquire advanced computer skills. It is advisable to choose a Master’s that adds to the list of your talents and abilities and show your dedication to your chosen path. Some majors require their students to do an intership, which can also look good in a CV, not mentioning the chance it may provide for forming valuable professional relationships.

4) What can complement your Bachelor’s degree?
A Bachelor’s degree in itself is usually not enough, however if you complement it with a related major for your Master’s, it can be a very good basis. It is essential to check where your Bachelor’s degree is acceptable because moving between disciplines is not always possible. Again, it is essential to check the prerequisites. Being familiar with different branches of study can add to your value on the job market.

5) Language skills
Some majors require the knowledge of a foreign language, especially if the courses are held in one. It is impossible or at least very hard to finish for example, the English major with only a basic level exam. Be aware of your limitations. On the other hand, some majors provide courses in a foreign language, especially for reading foreign texts related to your discipline that will help you when conducting research later on. It is a good idea to make use of these opportunities to broaden your horizons. Do not forget that without foreign languages, you might not be able to advance as easily in the world.

6) Scholarship possibilities
Winning a scholarship, be it Eramus, Comenius, or any other, is a life-changing experience. Getting to know a different culture, perfecting language skills and forming international relationships is useful for the development of empathy, self-sufficiency and collaborational skills. Even though most students think of their semester abroad as a time of relaxation, it should be noted that it is also an opportunity for gathering sources for your thesis. Be sure to check what kind of partner universities your future major has contacts with.

7) Financial considerations
Students, dependent on their families, need to consider the question of finances very carefully. Those lucky to have state-financed education have a limited amount of semesters to finish their studies, which remains free to them if the continue at the same major as they received a Bachelor’s degree in. However, should these students change universities, or even faculties, this kind of help is lost to them. Be sure to check beforehand the cost of living in the university dormitories and any other costs that may arise. Books and accommodation are not always cheap, especially combined with the costs of food and transportation. Be aware of your limitations and look for information on scholarships and other aids for students.

8) Reputation of the university
It is obvious that choosing a prestigious university has its advantages. However, getting into one takes more effort and sometimes more money. A good school has good teachers, student organizations and successful alumni. Information about these factors can be usually found on the homepage of the university.

9) School resources
This factor is very important as you will be spending a lot of time at an institution, trying to meet its requirements. Gather information about the library the school has, the IT services and any other resources that you might need to conduct your studies successfully.

10) Will your qualification be transferable?
This might be one of the most important questions in the current state of affairs. Many former students decide to work abroad, and for this they need degrees that are acceptable in the European Union, or even outside of it. Check the possibilities you have so your efforts will not be in vain.

Hopefully, these criteria will help you decide on the best Master’s programme for you.

Good luck!

Source: mastersportal.eu

3 July 2015 / by / in ,
Best and worst graduate degrees for jobs in 2015

PayScale crunched the numbers for Fortune and identified the grad degrees that lead to lucrative careers — and those that lead to high stress and low pay.

It’s that time of year when college graduates ponder their future plans, and those heading for more higher learning put down deposits for grad school tuition. In a knowledge economy, the pay gap is the widest it’s been in a generation, between those with more education, versus those with less. Which degrees are the best investment?

Salary may not be the sole motivation for pursuing a graduate degree, of course. But it makes sense to know the outlook for someone on your educational pathway before ponying up – or, taking on a huge long-term debt (in the U.S. today, average tuition for a graduate degree runs $36,000 to $63,000 a year.)

To determine the best and worst graduate degrees for jobs, Fortune consulted the careers site, PayScale. The site considered the full-range of graduate degrees, including Ph.D.s, master’s degrees, and law degrees.

The ranking is based upon these factors:

  • Long-term outlook for job growth. For that, PayScale drew on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest Employment Projections data (2012-2022). Average rate of employment growth for all occupations is 10%, making anything higher a fast-growing field.
  • Median salaries, at mid-career or at 10 years in (based on the three jobs most commonly associated with each degree).
  • Job satisfaction scores: the percentage of degree-holders who said they were “highly satisfied,” in one of PayScale’s surveys (take one here if you want). Job-growth outlook and salary were double-weighted.

Perhaps not surprisingly, PayScale’s analysis finds the best graduate degrees are in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields, with median, mid-career salaries topping at $131,700. “The top of the list has consistently been dominated by STEM degrees, especially statistics and computer science in the last five years,” said Katie Bardaro, the director of analytics and lead economist at PayScale.

The top degrees median mid-career earnings are roughly on par with each other, but it’s worth noting that some – such as a doctorate in statistics – lead to careers with lower stress.

Also, on the best degrees’ list, there are some emerging fields. Those who earn a graduate degree in biostatistics (which is in our top 10 list), work in healthcare, biotech, and life sciences, using computer models to, for example, predict cancer growth in a cell. The degree still isn’t offered by many schools but is gaining traction, Bardaro says.

And what about the worst degrees? Overall, the “worst” graduate degrees are in the arts and education, leading to careers that bring in as little as $48,100 in mid-career, according to PayScale data.

“Art-focused degrees and education dominate the bottom, year in and year out,” Bardaro said. Teachers and social workers whose salaries are funded by tax dollars are hard-pressed to see pay raises, in spite of their benefit to society.” Yet, she notes, some of those degree holders– such as those who earn a master’s in divinity — rate as high as “best” degree holders for job satisfaction.

Best Grad Degrees for Jobs

Ph.D., Statistics
Median Salary: $131,700
Projected Growth in Jobs by 2022: 23.7%
Highly Satisfied: 71%
Low Stress: 67%

Master’s, Biostatistics
Median Salary: $113,400
Projected Growth in Jobs by 2022: 21.3%
Highly Satisfied: 86%
Low Stress: 48%

PhD, Computer Science
Median Salary: $144,800
Projected Growth in Jobs by 2022: 17.1%
Highly Satisfied: 80%
Low Stress: 45%

Master’s, Human Computer Interaction
Median Salary: $115,200
Projected Growth in Jobs by 2022: 17.1%
Highly Satisfied: 72%
Low Stress: 72%

Ph.D., Physics
Median Salary: $132,400
Projected Growth in Jobs by 2022: 15.6%
Highly Satisfied: 78%
Low Stress: 58%

Juris Doctor (JD)
Median Salary: $138,200
Projected Growth in Jobs by 2022: 20.1%
Highly Satisfied: 71%
Low Stress: 34%

Master’s, Telecom Engineering
Median Salary: $119,100
Projected Growth in Jobs by 2022: 15.6%
Highly Satisfied: 88%
Low Stress: 54%

Master’s, Applied Math
Median Salary: $121,900
Projected Growth in Jobs by 2022: 16.8%
Highly Satisfied: 67%
Low Stress: 58%

Master’s, Statistics
Median Salary: ($109,700
Projected Growth in Jobs by 2022: 18.2%
Highly Satisfied: 80%
Low Stress: 51%

Master’s, Engineering
Median Salary: $117,200
Projected Growth in Jobs by 2022: 19.5%
Highly Satisfied: 68%
Low Stress: 41%

Master’s, Computer Science
Median Salary: $122,100
Projected Growth in Jobs by 2022: 16.8%
Highly Satisfied: 68%
Low Stress: 50%

Master’s, Software Engineering
Median Salary: $121,300
Projected Growth in Jobs by 2022: 16.8
Highly Satisfied: 66%
Low Stress: 51%

Ph.D., Economics
Median Salary: $122,500
Projected Growth in Jobs by 2022: 13.4
Percentage Who Are Highly Satisfied: 88%
Low Stress: 59%

Median Salary: $113,000
Projected Growth in Jobs by 2022: 20%
Highly Satisfied: 72%
Low Stress: 36%

Master’s Information Science
Median Salary: $101,800
Projected Growth in Jobs by 2022: 19.5%
Highly Satisfied: 73%
Low Stress: 43%

Worst 15 Graduate Degrees

Master’s, Interior Design

Median Salary: $69,400
Projected Growth in Jobs by 2022: 6.0%
Highly Satisfied: 68%
Low Stress: 14%

Master’s, Educational Administration
Median Salary: $77,100
Projected Growth in Jobs by 2022: 5.6%
Highly Satisfied: 82%
Low Stress: 22%

Master’s, Early Childhood Education
Median Salary: $48,100
Projected Growth in Jobs by 2022: 7.8%
Highly Satisfied: 80%
Low Stress: 31%

Master’s, Criminal Justice
Median Salary: $60,500
Projected Growth, # of Jobs, by 2022: 8.3%
Highly Satisfied: 64%
Low Stress: 32%

Master’s, Reading & Literacy
Median Salary: $52,300
Projected Growth in Jobs by 2022: 9.4%
Highly Satisfied: 82%
Low Stress: 26%

Ph.D., Educational Leadership
Median Salary: $88,500
Projected Growth in Jobs by 2022: 6.9
Highly Satisfied: 81%
Low Stress: 19%

Master’s, Health Administration
Median Salary: $73,300
Projected Growth in Jobs by 2022: 6.3%
Highly Satisfied: 68%
Low Stress: 40%

Master’s, Studio Art
Median Salary: $51,300
Projected Growth, # of Jobs, by 2022: 12.2%
Highly Satisfied: 62%
Low Stress: 24%

Master’s, Construction Management
Median Salary: 99,600
Projected Growth in Jobs by 2022: 6.6%
Highly Satisfied: 82%
Low Stress: 18%

Master’s, Fine Arts
Median Salary 55,900
Projected Growth in Jobs by 2022: 9.5
Highly Satisfied: 63%
Low Stress: 37%

Master’s, Divinity
Median Salary: $52,100
Projected Growth in Jobs by 2022: 9.2%
Highly Satisfied: 85%
Low Stress: 36%

Master’s, Educational Leadership
Median Salary: $72,600
Projected Growth in Jobs by 2022: 7.2%
Highly Satisfied: 80%
Low Stress: 31%

Master’s, Social Work (MSW)
Median Salary: $59,400
Projected Growth # of Jobs, by 2022: 10.4%
Highly Satisfied: 78%
Low Stress: 24%

Master’s, Leadership
Median Salary $81,600
Projected Growth in Jobs by 2022: 7.0%
Highly Satisfied: 75%
Low Stress: 30%

Master’s, Curriculum & Instruction
Median Salary: $58,200
Projected Growth in Jobs by 2022: 8.8 %
Highly Satisfied 80%
Low Stress: 35%

Jill Hamburg Coplan is a business writer whose work has been published in BusinessWeek, Inc., Bloomberg and many other publications.

Source: fortune.com

13 December 2014 / by / in