You’re reading an excerpt of Admitted by Soundarya Balasubramani. Written by an Ivy League graduate from India, this is the proven guide for students worldwide looking to pursue undergraduate or graduate study abroad in the U.S., Canada, or Europe. Purchase for instant access to the guide and other exclusive resources—including sample SOPs, sample resumes, scholarship lists, and a private community with other readers.

In an ideal world, universities would publish information on every alumni’s job role, company, and salary in a massive database that can be queried. But in reality, this information is not available to the extent you would want, since universities that don’t have a great history tend to obfuscate this with less important data. For example, the Management Science and Engineering department at Columbia University does a reasonably good job of giving you all the numbers you need.* On the other hand, we couldn’t find the data at all for the Computer Science department at Virginia Tech.* Nevertheless, your first layer of research should once again begin with your department’s website.

Apart from spending time on the department site, we recommend resorting to platforms that pool this information. The professional networking site LinkedIn is your best bet here. We will detail best practices in creating a LinkedIn profile in a later chapter, but for now, use it to collect data on the alumni.

LinkedIn lets you look at the alumni of any institution and glean some basic categorical information on where they live, what they do, and what they majored in, and more.* You can also filter these fields to, say, look for students who majored in economics at Stanford University and are currently working at Apple in the U.S.*

Using LinkedIn, you can reasonably answer the question: What are some of the common career paths a student follows after graduating from [university] with a degree in [major]?

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To find out details on the salary of a role, you can either use the inbuilt feature in LinkedIn* or resort to other platforms that also have this information, like PayScale* and Glassdoor.*

Other Miscellaneous Factors

This could mean anything, but the most common factors we recommend you look at are the ranking, location, and living expenses.

Ranking, as we saw before, is not the best metric to measure your experience. However, it would be naive on our part to suggest not looking at it. We recommend triaging your information by looking through the multiple ranking sites mentioned before: QS World Rankings, Times Higher Education Rankings, and the Academic Ranking of World Universities. Rather than looking at the overall ranking of a university, search for the ranks pertaining to your department wherever available.

Location is an important part of your experience. If you’re used to living in the city all your life, filled with bustling restaurants and theaters, it would be a difficult transition to study at a university that is situated deep in a rural area, such as Dartmouth College. On the flip side, someone who cherishes peace and quiet would be unnerved with the city that never sleeps, a.k.a. New York.

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