Dear Mentor:

Should I take the GRE or the GMAT?

I am undergoing a dilemma presently. I did my M.Tech. [Master of Technology] in Mining Engineering from [name withheld] 1996 and decided for IAS as my career! I cleared the exam in 1997 and now, I am fed up with a govt. job and wish to switch over. Hence I need your valuable advice.
I have three options: 1) to do some computer course in India and join a job; 2) Go for GRE; 3) go for GMAT. I am considering options 2 & 3 seriously. I think getting aid in tech courses is easy than that in Management. Further, I like programming more than a management job. What do u think would be better? Further, can I get admission for MS in computer science on the basis of GRE score or do I need to take AGRE?
I would also like to know some details about GRE schedule & schedule of admissions in US and about scholarships. Any site that can give detailed info on preparing for GRE? Do write to me.

Changing Direction, India

Dear Changing Direction:

First of all, we hope you take comfort in the fact that you are not alone when it comes to reevaluating one's career from time to time. Having said that, one must make choices carefully to ensure that the change would be in fact better for one's career. In view of this, we completely agree with you in rejecting Option 1.

You recognize that GRE and GMAT, being entrance exams, are means to an end, depending on whether you would pursue an MS (Master of Science) in Computer Science or an MBA. Academic requirements for both are typically the same; that is, you need a Bachelor's degree in any specialization.

You have correctly noted that virtually no financial support is available to International students for the MBA program. The situation is different for the MS in Computer Science. Although highly competitive, international students can get financial support from the university. If money is the issue, which it is for most international students from India, the MS in Computer Science should be your choice for further studies.

Although requirements vary across schools, you will be required to take the GRE. You can get all the information you want on the GRE by visiting the GRE website. In terms of preparing for the GRE, we know that many coaching classes as well as books are available in India. We do not recommend, as a matter of policy, any product or service. You can either research them yourself, or ask your friends and colleagues for their advice.

You should determine the unique requirements of each prospective school. You can find necessary guidance in the iMahal Education Section. You can also use the iMahal College Finder to find colleges that meet your personal and specific needs.

We have answered many questions in the past that you may find relevant to your situation. We recommend that you read the earlier questions and answers in the Dear Mentor: Archives.

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