When it comes to your career the most important step on this journey is usually your first. Choosing the right course at the right university is the fundamental step to setting up your career in the right direction and as an international student it can often be a complicated one.

With a wide range of programmes and universities all over the world, finding the one that is aligned with your career aspirations can be quite perplexing. However, with the right guidance you can smoothly sail through the entire process.

Below is a detailed guide to help you choose the right course and university based on my experience as an international student navigating through this challenging yet rewarding process.

  • The most important question you need to ask yourself when choosing a course is the purpose behind studying. Do you want to further your career? Do you want to diversify your skill set and knowledge?
  • If that is the case, then choose a course that interests you and aligns with your existing qualifications, experience and skill set. Discuss study options with your peers, colleagues or employers to determine which qualification will best help your career progression.
  • You can also connect with ScotsGrad one of India’s leading educational advisory firms for Indian students looking to pursue higher education abroad. What makes them unique is that they offer mentorship from subject matter experts who are alumni of leading international universities. They are the best advisors to guide you in your educational journey right from course and university selection to visa application guidance and more!
  • Next, finalise your study destination. There are many countries in the world that offer great qualifications. Consider your finances, scholarships, part-time work opportunities, job prospects, study and work visa regulations while selecting your study destination.
  • Choose your course wisely. Look beyond the course title and review the modules you want to study since each university offers different modules under the same course title. Also look at the type of assignments and examinations to form an estimate of what lies ahead for you.
  • Consider various parameters like reputation, accreditation, location, faculty, research quality, student satisfaction, graduate employability among others while shortlisting a university. It is always wise to choose a university that specialises in your chosen subject area and is in a city that has access to specific resources.
  • For instance, if you want to pursue an MBA, choose a university that is in a major city and has accreditation from at least one international accreditation body – AACSB / AMBA / EQUIS.
  • Now that you have shortlisted your course and university, analyse other factors like tuition fees, living costs, and entry requirements. Do you need to appear for GRE, GMAT, TOEFL or IELTS? If yes, then work towards getting those assessments done.
  • Lastly, connect with current and past students of the university to know more about the course, career prospects, part-time work opportunities, internships, etc.

I would also love to share my experience of working with ScotsGrad who guided me throughout my educational journey – from course selection to visa application – at 0 cost!

From the very beginning I was focused on pursuing a master’s degree in marketing from the UK, the world’s second-leading study destination after the US. But I was unsure of the exact specialisation that would be complementary to my experience and more aligned with my present career aspirations.

I was inundated with numerous choices while searching for marketing courses across different universities in the UK. Based on my initial research, I shortlisted a few courses on marketing analytics, international marketing, and digital marketing. However, I was still unable to narrow down to 1 that would be ideal for me since each course had specific and distinctive modules.

I sought advice from a ScotsGrad mentor, whom I befriended on a social media group for international students. I shared my dilemma and he introduced me to two other mentors with specific domain knowledge in marketing. I had long discussions with them on my educational and professional background, skill set and career aspirations.

They also grilled me on my strengths and weaknesses. Through these daily interactions spanning days, I finally gained more clarity on my subject choice and narrowed down to Digital Marketing for 3 major reasons –

  1. Natural progression from my past work experience
  2. Dabbled with a bit of social media marketing and loved it
  3. Digital transformation has cloaked up the entire world and its significance has become even more pronounced in the wake of a global pandemic.

With the right course shortlisted I moved on to the next stage – choosing the right university. Here again I was afflicted with another dilemma – Should I focus on overall ranking or subject-wise ranking, dissertation, or sandwich placement?

I discussed these apprehensions with my mentors who gave me a clear guide on what to look for while selecting a university. A few of these were –

  1. Rankings based on subject, student satisfaction, research quality, graduate employability, staff-student ratio, infrastructure, etc
  2. Accreditation
  3. Department & past student cohort
  4. Location & cost of living in the area
  5. Tuition fees, entry requirements & scholarships

Note – Always try and restrict your selection to 3-4 universities.

Once I had shortlisted both my course and university, ScotsGrad assisted me with the entire application process and beyond including SOP scrutinisation, resume building, bank loan insight, scholarship, and visa application guidance, among others.

Interestingly, they are also the only educational advisory firm in India to offer job application support post studies. Remember that choosing the right course and university is going to be one of the most important decisions of your career and an investment for your future.

So do not procrastinate – do your own research and reach out to the right set of people for advice and guidance!

Quick Guide on Where to Seek Information for Higher Studies Abroad
●       University website, online blogs, social media

●       University admissions’ office / guidance counsellor

●       Virtual open days

●       Educational consultant ScotsGrad

●       Current students & alumni

●       Rankings like THE, QS, League Table


ScotsGrad is a pioneer in establishing the UK, especially Scotland, as a premier destination for higher education among students in India. They provide end to end advisory services including psychometric assessment, personalised interactions, university and visa application assistance, and career guidance. The personalised interactions with our members, former graduates of leading UK universities, ensure a holistic and systematic approach. They are also the only consultancy in India enabling “career success” for any student going to the UK.

To know more, get in touch with the team through any of their social media platforms:

All the Best!