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Define Your Educational And Career Goals

Setting goals is like looking into your future with a telescope. If you focus well, you can see much farther.

1: Goals | 2: Select Schools | 3: Forms | 4: Exams | 5: Financial Aid
Before you begin filling out applications and flying to America, the most important thing is to define your educational and career goal. A well-defined set of goals will simplify your research and planning. In addition, it will help guide the direction of your educational journey through out your live in the U.S.

When should I take this step?
Eighteen (18) to twelve months before school starts.

How do I set my educational and career goals?

Your educational and career goals will be affected by things such as the quality of life you want, the kind of values you believe in, and what level of personal wealth you would be satisfied with. After considering these variables, ask yourself the following questions:

1. Your goal: what do you want to be after you graduate?
Try to be as specific as possible because this will make the next step easier. Here are some examples of specific goals..

  • Become a civil servant in your country
  • Live and work in the U.S. after graduation
  • Work as a designer in the high-technology industry
  • Be an executive in a multinational corporation
  • Work in one of the United Nations organizations
The goal that you set will have a significant impact on every part of your educational journey. For example, if you want to work in the U.S. after you graduate, you need to choose a major that will help you get a job here. Certain professions where the demand in the job market is high or where the profession is viewed as contributive to the society will make it easier for an international student to find a job. For example, if you are a computer programmer, physician, or bio engineer, you will probably find it easier to get a job in the U.S. than you would if you earned a degree in literature or horticulture. In addition, your career goal can also affect how you want to spend your summer vacation. Summer internship will help you understand American business practices, culture, and regulations and thus improve your chances of getting a job after you graduate.

2. Your background/qualifications: What do you have at this point?
Carefully look at your own background and qualifications to see how ready you are to achieve your goals. Perhaps you already have a Bachelor's degree in Engineering, are fluent in English, and have a good understanding of the computer architecture.

3. Achieving the goals: To get from here to there, what do you need to do?
From your qualifications, what else do you need to do in order to achieve the goals you set earlier. This step is probably the most difficult. You should talk to different people and learn from their experiences. Normally, advice from experienced people such as professors and experts in you future field of study will be helpful.

If you want to work in a large multinational corporation after you graduate, you probably need an MBA from a top business school and some experience working in an international environment. In this case, you may look for top schools that focus on international business. If you want to be in the entertainment industry, studying in or near Los Angeles will give you exposure to the entertainment industry in the U.S.

Why do I need to define specific goals?
Without specific educational and career goals, your choice of college, major, location, and environment may not help you achieve your goals in the end.

What resources are available to me?
It's always to helpful to consult professional advisors or people already have experiences of studying abroad. Check out our virtual community and talk to other foreign students in America.

| Step 2: Select Schools

Undergraduate Ranking
1. Princeton Univ.
2. Harvard Univ.
3. Yale Univ.
4. CIT
5. MIT
6. Stanford Univ.
7. Univ. of Penn
8. Duke Univ.
9. Dartmouth College
10. Columbia Univ.
Graduate Ranking
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