Is Work Experience Required for an MS in the USA?

Posted In visa On August 6, 2018

If you’re confused between pursuing higher education or getting some work experience first, you have come to the first place. Having ample experience in the field of education I have some useful advice for you.

As colleges in the USA have professors reviewing applications (rather than general admissions committees), work experience that goes in line with research goals shows a strong commitment to the field. Having relevant work experience can increase students’ chances to get into the college of their choice, but before making any decision it should it understood that not all kind of work experience will enhance your profile. Relevant core experience at a well-known company can help substantially whereas relevant experience at an unheard company can matter if you describe your projects well. The identity and reputation of the company itself matter a lot. Well reputed companies that are more familiar to the admissions committee would weigh more than other lesser known ones. Another thing to consider might be the length of experience – too short a work experience can only do so much while 1-2 years is a good period to be considered.

Students who have relevant work experience have an upper hand over students with no experience with similar profile because of the following reasons:

  • Masters Studies with an emphasis on a quantitative approach, such as Finance, Economics, etc. capitalize on skills and knowledge that can be achieved by spending time in the field as a professional.

  • Relevant work experience can strengthen your profile if your GRE score is average with reliable references from the field, but it is important that your work profile aligns with your graduation goals.

  • Professional work allows you to understand the real-world challenges which help to look at a research problem from a practical perspective.

  • Prior work experience will also be extremely useful when choosing your Masters Program and electives. Students get a deeper understanding of their area of interest and potential which can help them to plan a career accordingly.

  • Having a job experience will help in securing a job post MS since you already have field experience.

  • In case of an MBA program, you need to have good communication skills, initiation, motivational and leadership qualities. Therefore, work experience becomes very important for an MBA program.

  • Having a job in hand before graduation ensures Repayment capacity of students making it easier for them to avail education loan, as it ensures that the student can repay the loan.

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