Dear Mentor:

What degree should I pursue in Canada?

I have just appeared for my MBA final exams from Bangalore University and am awaiting results any day now. I have specialised in Marketing and HR [Human Resources], though I am more inclined towards HR. I am extremely ambitious and am extremely keen to go for further studies to Canada. I am not keen on repeating my MBA nor am I interested in a PhD. Please suggest any other Master's that I can pursue. Although I know only MS Office, I am keen on any IT programme related to MBA like MS in Computers or MIS [Management Information Systems] etc. Also please inform me of any Master's in HR that will not be a repetition of my MBA programme. I have no wish to linger here without a job, so my hurry is to start a bright future in Canada at the earliest. Also by browsing through your archives I came to know that for MS in Computers, the GRE [Graduate Record Exam] is a must. I have an Arts background and I am poor in Mathematics. I have an excellent score in TOEFL. Can I avoid the GRE and GMAT [Graduate Management Aptitude Test]? Can I hone my already acquired knowledge and skills in HR without doing my MBA again?

Assessing Options, Bangalore, Karnataka, India.

Dear Assessing Options:

As you have learned in your MBA, you should define your goal, identify options, outline objective assessment criteria, and then evaluate options to determine the best course of action. Obviously, all this must be grounded in your ambitions and interests. Your choice of Canada is a bit peculiar. Why not the US or UK or any other country for that matter?

You have adequate academic qualification to pursue a Master's degree in just about any country, provided your areas of prior studies are acceptable to the target program. Given your MBA from India, you can pursue a Master's in any business-related area, such as marketing, finance, organizational behavior (OB), human resources (HR) management, and so on.

You can also pursue a Master's in computer science, but you would be required to take additional courses - a kind of Pre-MS program - to acquire the fundamentals of computer science before you can formally begin the MS program.

The choice of whether you should pursue a Master's program in a business-related field or computer science is obviously yours. Professional programs, such as an MBA or Master's in computer science, tend to have a greater value in the employment market.

It is possible that your ideal curriculum could be in a program other than business or computers. For example, your interest in art and HR and your non-interest in mathematics might make you a good candidate for a program in psychology or in communications.

Most good schools in the US and Canada require some sort of relevant standardized entrance exam, such as the GRE or GMAT, for graduate studies, although admission requirements vary across schools. We would recommend that you focus on your goal and fulfill the requirements, even if it includes taking an entrance exam. Taking the GRE or GMAT would certainly require additional effort and hard work, but such is the price for success. Focusing on the details, such as the entrance exam, and losing the focus on your goals and ambition is not an approach to achieving success, as you must have learned in your MBA.

The TOEFL is intended to ensure that your have adequate proficiency in the English language. As such, it is merely a threshold test; you must score higher the threshold set by individual schools. The amount by which you exceed the threshold is irrelevant.

We strongly recommend that you read iMahal's Authoritative Guide for Studying in America and Canada. This guide will help and guide you through all aspects of your search and decision-making.

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