An enthusiastic net-surfer from India had a typical admission Query.
He has everything on his side GPA of around 3.9, GRE score hovering around 1500.
Few doubts which he raised are as follows:
1)How is the research going on in the field of VLSI (We are thinking of applying to VLSI)?
2) How are the job prospects after completion of our MS?
3) How are the funding oppurtunities in MS for EE?
4) Is our profile sufficient for applying there?
Well starting with first, VLSI is one of the best paying fields in EE. But due to recent downturn there has been quite reduction as far as research is concerned. No wonder Big Universities are getting funding but the correction has been by 60%. So once you prove your performance in the first Sem, then one has a good chance of getting research. The key is, while applying for Admissions, talk to Prof. about your interest and may be this will give you an edge against your peers.
So the answer is YES funding is available for those who prove their worth.
Second. Job Prospects are a bit shaky for VLSIEngg. It is said that Co. don't hire freshers easily as "Time to market" factor is very important in this field. So new hands would delay the stuff for them (Remember Moore Law). So it is better to opt for subjects in Embedded System and VLSI in first sem and then in second Semester you may decide what to do. In this way you may make things more clear.
Moreover even in VLSI (Being a large field) there are many domains. Digital, Analog, Mixed Signal and many more. Let me give you a brief intro about it. Before few years there was a large demand for Digital Designers and suddenly Analog designers demand increased. ARM, INTEL everyone ran behind Analog Engg. So it is all matter of time and no one can say what is more better.
My advice as you get admit in ECE and not only Electronics you may apply in general but latter may shift to field you think may lead you to a safe future.
Third. Research and Funding goes parallel. If you have good funding you are going to have good research so it is the same with answer 1. But if you are looking for what research is going on currently in VLSI? Then well i am doing in Research and Placement. Which is almost last step of complete VLSI package. Some people are also doing in Bio-chip which happens to be of my interest too.
Forth. Your profile is terribly good man. For American Universities, Osmania or MaharajaSayajiRao University is the same. Only IIT is a brand here as far as Indian Uni are to be considered. So any internship and paper presentation or projects are only taken into account when you do not have a good GRE, TOEFL and GPA. In your case everything is well structured so your extra-curricular would be an icing of the cake.
In simple words don make sure your SOP is nicely drafting so it would leave simply no room for your rejection of application.
Some Universities which i can suggest you is University of Michigan, North Carolina State University, University of Texas at Dallas, A & M, University of California (Irvine, Berkley), University of Southern California (You will get a sure shot admit) , Rutgers (NJ), Arizona State University, Georgia Tech and to be on safe side apply to Michigan Tech, UT at Arlington.
ALL THE BEST for your future aspirations and if you have any doubt do not hesitate to contact.