How to Choose the Right MS Specialisation?


Sristy Sharma
Updated on May 05, 2022 12:35 PM IST

Confused about what to do after you have completed your Bachelor's or want to upskill yourself professionally for better opportunities? Here is a guide to choosing the right MS specialisation which will help you in attaining an impressive career trajectory. 

How to Choose the Right MS Specialisation?

Whether you’ve completed your undergraduate program or have been in employment for some time, an MS program from a top university can definitely boost your future career prospects. You must have signed up for many Job-oriented sites and have written emails to all the top companies of the industry, and while you’ve got certain opportunities knocking at your door, their proposal is either not at par with your skills or they negotiate on the basis of lack of your professional degree. 

So, what must you do?

There are many online and certificate courses available but you already have plenty of them and they only help in upskilling, whereas you are now probably looking forward to better opportunities and a higher salary. The best option at this stage is to opt for an MS degree from abroad but how do you choose the right MS specialisation for you? Find out below!

What is MS and Why Must You Go For It?

MS is a graduate Masters degree for the candidates who have attained Bachelors. Since it is a masters degree it provides you with a chance to not only upskill yourself but gain the status of a professional in a particular specialization or field. A degree in MS can lead you to the following advantages;

  • Better Career Opportunities will open up for you as now you shall be considered a professional in the field.

  • Increase in Income due to the excellence of acquired skills and knowledge.

  • You can also delve into the Research and Development sector of the field as a professional.

  • In case you want to further your understanding of the field you could apply for a Doctorate after MS.

  • Once your MS degree is in your hand you can also delve into the Teaching Career of the field.

  • MS laden professionals tend to be involved in Prestigious Job Positions in any corporate.

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What Does an MS Specialisation Mean?

The discipline of Science is undoubtedly huge and therefore there are various streams or branches which form its part. All these parts are huge sacks of studies in themselves that cannot be covered altogether in a single study program. Hence, once a candidate has attained the knowledge of basic and advanced terms and tools from their Junior college and Bachelors, which are required for further dive into these studies, these branches are diversified into independent studies or specialisations. 

In order to become a true master or professional in a field, you need to choose one of these specialisations and delve into the course program designed for the same.

It is possible that you have an interest in a certain specialization and so you might think that you do not require this guide, however, we implore you to go a bit further into reading. It might be possible that you discover your decision to be a poor choice or made on weak foundations. So, it is better you read on so you can rest assured about your decision.

How to Choose an MS Specialisation?

In order to choose an MS specialisation that is not only of your interest but also favourable for your career’s trajectory in future, we have derived certain steps which you shall undertake. These steps are in no manner rigid in their sequence yet it is recommended to follow them sequentially in order to make a concrete final decision.

Filter out the Wide Range With Your Core Interest Area

As previously stated, the core specialisations available for MS are many and it is important that you are aware of your interest area as the majors are similarly branched widely. In order to decide upon your core interest area following steps could be applied:

  • In the case of the core subjects, you are already aware of research about the ultimate channelling of these during and after the masters. You can search for the core subject and explore its scope and applicability. 

  • In case you are not much aware of the type of core subjects, spend time researching the various programs available along with their scope and applicability during and after your Masters.

  • While researching the core subjects, select the factors upon which you shall decide. These factors could include employability, growth prospect, applicability in future years, support to a sustainable environment, contribution to humanity, research areas, etc. 

  • Using your decision upon your unique consideration factors and core subject’s scope and applicability research, make the final decision.

Research the Various Specialisations Available in The Core Area

Once you have selected the core area(s), then comes the choice among the various specialisations available in this core area. The number and diversity of specialisations may differ for different core subjects from only a couple to various combinations. Put simply, in order to make the final decision, the very first thing is to be aware of the type of specialisations available within a core subject. 

Find Out the Eligibility Requirements

Once you have decided upon the specialisations which you would like to pursue, you shall have to check their eligibility criteria. In this case, the following must be taken into consideration:

  • Even though the eligibility criteria of different institutions might vary, the basic requirements would mostly remain the same.

  • You will be needed to research the undergraduate degree requirements and if there is a need to have the same in a particular field or so. 

  • Other than degree requirements, the range of grades required in undergraduate to pursue a course shall also have to be checked. For most MS programs, you would be required to have obtained a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in your Bachelor's degree.

  • Some MS programs also need applicants to have work experience of 1-3 years in the related field. 

  • There are certain additional requirements for some of the specialisations and they shall be needed to be checked for their achievement.

  • Apart from the specialisation-based additional requirements, there are certain language and general admission requirements which are also needed to be complied with. An international student applying for MS in an English-speaking country should prove their English language proficiency by taking the IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Duolingo English Test.  

  • Get a general idea about the type of documents that you will need to prepare to apply for the specialisation.

Research the Future Opportunities

Even if you are sure about your interest in the selected specialisation, it is important to assess the availability and scope of future opportunities after the completion of MS. In this assessment, you need to take note of the return of investment (ROI) in order to evaluate the profitability of the program. The points you must consider in this process are:

  • Career directions available in the specialisation should be checked. Whether there is an option of only practical applicability or there is an available option of Research and Development and other discourse.

  • In each discourse available, what has the success rate and reputation been over the years? 

  • The achievements or trajectory of the last 5 years and the probability of the next 10 years of each discourse must be assessed.

  • Employability, average salary, salary growth rate, relatability in the market, etc., are some of the factors that shall be researched.

  • The impact of specialisation on society and sustainability through their practical or research-based application must be checked.

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Research the Career Types in Specialisation

When doing this, factor in the following:

  • Idea about the practical and theoretical scope of the specialisation.

  • The expanse of the course for its applicability in different practical fields.

  • The industries to which the specialisation could be applied.

  • The kind of course structure followed by the institutions for a particular specialisation.

  • Are there any practical projects available in the field?

  • The pioneering names in the field of specialisation and their contribution.

Search for Institutes Offering the Chosen Specialisation

After conducting a thorough study in the above steps, you shall have a couple of specialisations which you shall be more than sure about. In case you already have such specialisations, you would be ready to find out which institutes offer MS in that particular specialisation. While shortlisting institutions, the following must be considered:

  • The reputation and recognition of the degree provided by the institution in the industry.

  • The international status of the degree of the institution.

  • The alumni of the institution in the same field.

  • The faculty of the institution, their achievements and their current focus.

  • The partner institutions and academic affiliation in relation to specialisation.

  • Institutions also sometimes collaborate with research facilities and communities for developmental and research works. Their proper analysis, past achievements and ongoing research must also be checked.

Research the Course Program Structure and Fees

While researching the institutions the course program and related details also need to be researched. The points that require consideration are;

  • The courses available and the combinations offered.

  • The length or duration of the program (may differ from 1 - 2 years).

  • The internship is available in the program or not.

  • What the course duration is along with an internship.

  • The fees structure of the course.

  • Availability of scholarships.

  • Career guidance and support availability by the institution.

Make a Final Decision

It is only after the proper analysis of each and every step stated above that you shall be able to finally decide upon a course. Apart from the above, these considerations must also be made:

  • Batch strength of an institution.

  • International students percentage and their treatment by the institution.

  • The general environment of the institution and the region.

  • Residential facilities and support by institutions in order to grow familiar with the new environment.

  • Policies and procedures of the institution in relation to the diversity of student demographics, resolving of issues, safety and security, and community involvement.

The final decision must be made only when each and every aspect of the above-stated MS specialisation Choosing process is fulfilled.

Points to Remember While Picking MS Specialisation

In relation to the MS specialisation, your decision process should also be based on the following:

  • In any step or selection process, make sure to have at least 3 - 4 alternative options available with yourself. Not only will this help you be more confident about your final selection but shall also prove helpful in case where you hit a dead end with a particular course.

  • There are certain specialisations that require an undergraduate degree to be completed in a relevant field. Make sure to check the same during the research.

  • While there is a provisional range for undergraduate GPA applicable to MS abroad, this range is different for institutions providing the graduate program and the same must be researched before applying.

  • The additional requirements, documents or tests, also have different ranges of grades depending on the institution and the MS program.

  • There are some fields that are exhaustive while some are evergreen. The relatability of any specialisation in the long term market needs to be assessed carefully.

  • There are some specialisations that are applicable in all industries while some have only limited scope. The same shall have to be checked.

  • Global Rankings could be considered of the institutions on an overall and specialisation basis as they differ vastly, and only then decisions are made. A high global ranking does not ensure high subject ranking and vice-versa.

  • The student visa requirements of study abroad destinations being considered must be properly assessed.

  • The natural and climatic environment and currency exchange rate fluctuations must also be considered while choosing the institution.

As it must be clear that the process of choosing and applying for an appropriate MS specialisation is not easy at all, it is recommended that you apply with the help of our professional experts who will guide you through each and every step of the process till you are settled in your chosen study abroad destination.

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