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Masters – Masters of a particular subject

PhD – Doctor of Philosophy

What are these three degrees mentioned above, and which one best suits your international education?

Our experience over the years made us realise why so many international students prefer doing their masters and PhD all across the world rather than doing their Undergrad.

Here are few reasons.

  1. International undergraduate degree costs a lot of money. If you are from a south Asian country (i.e. India, Nepal, Sri Lanka) or an Asian country such as Thailand, Singapore, China, an undergraduate degree will cost you a lot of money because of your currency conversion. Some universities in the U.S can cost over $100,000 ~ INR 75,00,000. There are few students who get their undergraduate degree for free along with assistantships and part-time job but that population is not as high as the paying population.
  2. Masters degree is a fast-track course. It takes over a year or two to finish, your investment is 1/2 or 1/4 of what you would be spending in a full-time undergraduate degree and you automatically become more valuable to the companies if you just look at degrees.
  3. PhDs are a different ball game altogether. 100% of the PhDs are funded by a department at the university or a professor who decide on having you as a research assistant in their team. PhD is a long term commitment and can last up to 5-6 years. What’s the upside? you are doing the work you like to do!

Here are some of the Pros & Cons of each degree while studying in the United States

Undergraduate πŸ‘¨β€πŸŽ“

ProsCons
Study in an international environment among the top brains and best professorsCan be expensive as fewer scholarships are available for international students
Have an immense opportunities for research & startupPersonal issues such as loneliness, depression & homesickness. There is a big issue of people trying to fit into a new community.
Holistic education helps you develop in all aspect and not just education.International undergraduates are less preferred in the long term work visa i.e. H1B
The flexibility to take courses and decide on what you want to study even after first 2 years allows students to pursue what they want. Contrary to a rather fixed model of education in India and other countries.
Excitement; you are 18 and in a new country and that too the United States. This will be your best college experience ever.

Masters πŸ‘¨β€πŸŽ“

ProsCons
Cheaper as your education is 1-2 yearsThe job market can be fluctuating depending upon recession or presidential candidates
Faster & higher return on investment; if you want to learn more about ROI read one of our blogs β€£Problems of fitting into a new environment. Lesser time to adapt to American culture which makes it difficult in career fair and interviews to stand out.
A lot of companies prefer masters student over undergraduates in career fair & interviews.
Higher chances of long term work visa i.e. H1B

PhD πŸŽ“

ProsCons
Fully funded education. The university or the professor will fund your education along with providing a stipend of β€˜x’ dollar/month depending on the cityThe stipend is lower as compared to what you would be making in the industry. It could be as low as $1800/month which might seem a lot of money but isn’t if you do have a family to support you.
Best research facilities all around the world with incredible amount of resourcesPhDs can take a long time depending on your research and the faculty you are working with. It could take anywhere between 3-6 years.
Easier process to get a green card in the United States as compared to another education visaSometimes the companies feel like you are overqualified for a job position which makes it difficult to get hired. This is true for a few industries but not all.

P.S. This pros and cons list does not hold for every university. This is a generalized list, for example, an undergraduate in a US-based university is one of the best things which can happen to a student. The exposure and opportunities it opens for a student are amazing. Even though masters degree is the best ROI as compared to UG and PhDs, there is a high risk associated with it as there is less time for some students to get used to the American system of doing things which makes it very difficult to adjust and may lead to not getting a job.