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help: career path in higher education


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This is amazing website and I'm happy that I'm asking to you people, who respond based on true experience and understanding of the field, admission trends etc.

  • What I am:
    • an engineer from India with good academic scores
    • very much active in co-curricular activities as a leader or manager during education
    • Now: working in an educational institute as a coordinator (~Administrative officer).- youngest staff member :P
      • This experience: approx 9 months and will last till I get admission into a graduate school
      • Past experience: working in IT and Electronics industry for 1 year
      • GRE, TOEFL: Scheduled after a month.
      • Area of interest: Higher education administration, International education
      • Willing to apply for: Masters, Ed D , Ph D programs
      • What I need to know:
        • I know I am suitable for Masters program than doctorate. But doctorate will be a comprehensive thing for my career. I don't have Masters but funding will be a serious concern for me, hence trying to concentrate on doctorate programs.
        • What chances do you see that I'll be accepted at Harvard/Peabody/Oxford/UPenn/UMich or Mich State/ Penn State?

          • What should I do to increase the chances?

          [*]Should I expect funding? Does it 'happen' in such cases?

          [*]Is doctorate 'too advanced' option for me? If so, will Masters degree offer me a good job?

          [*]Bottom line:

          [*]I have changed my career after 1 year of experience and now, I'm as young as 24. The only thing to support: I am passionate about my career in HE and have done remarkable things at work.

          All in all, I am little anxious and I need some basic information, evidence as a support to my career path.

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Many higher education masters program, to my knowledge, are funded - most students seem to be admitted with a fellowship to work at the university. You should apply to both, or at least apply to the doctorate with the option of being offered a masters admission if rejected.

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Look for programs where internships are built into the requirements. I believe this is the case at Penn GSE. At Harvard, you have to find your own internship, but it's relatively easy to find one if you're persistent. Doing an internship is a MUST.

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I did my undergrad at Michigan State! Great school, great atmosphere.

I would recommend researching the websites of the schools you're interested in and finding a few professors whose research seems to align with your interests. What seemed to work well for me was to write a very short email saying something like, "Hi, I am really interested in [whatever interests you about this department]. I have read through the website, and still have some questions. Are you the person I should ask, or can you direct me to someone?" They can reply to this very quickly without much thought, and so they're more likely to reply. Then, if they say they're the person to talk to, you can write them something more like you posted here, explaining your situation and asking their insight on what you can do.

Alternately, often websites have contact information for current graduate students. Email them in a similar manner, and then you can get some general information out of them, without the pressure of talking to a professor.

If you do decide to write an email to a professor, post it here first and there's a good chance an American student would be willing to edit it or make suggestions before sending it. (No guarantees, of course, but a lot of us like editing other people's work...)

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