Is A Foreign University Degree As Valuable As A US-Based Degree?



All education is not created equally. While there are higher learning institutions all over the world, they vary significantly in coursework and prestige. In the United States, many high schoolers plan to get a college degree, and the vast majority of them will be studying in the U.S. In first-world foreign countries, it’s the same story; most people who are going to college will study in the country they are citizens of. In other countries, it’s often necessary for the few people who do go to college to leave their country and seek a better education elsewhere.

After earning a degree, graduates look for employment, and again, most of them work in the country they are citizens of or studied in. Some, however, will look for jobs abroad, whether it’s foreigners coming to the U.S. or U.S. citizens going abroad. It’s not uncommon for job candidates to be competing against people with degrees from countries other than theirs.

When this happens, what is the outcome? Are U.S. degrees considered more valuable than foreign degrees? Or vice versa?

Doctor-DegreeIs A Foreign University Degree As Valuable As A US-Based Degree?

U.S. Degrees Abroad

In foreign countries, U.S. degrees a`re generally well respected. In countries that are second- or third-world, U.S. degrees are very valuable. At the same time, foreign degrees from other countries can be just as valuable when compared to the educational opportunities available in that country. In other countries with good educational systems, a U.S. degree is only as good as the college it comes from. Colleges with lots of prestige, such as Ivy League schools, hand out degrees that are significantly more valuable than small, unheard of universities.

Foreign Degrees in the U.S

In the U.S., there are lots of people working who have college degrees from foreign countries. Degrees need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Some foreign universities are highly-respected all over the world or in their particular field of specialty. Other degrees, however, are questionable, and some are worthless. It all depends on where the degree comes from and what the educational requirements of that institution or country were. Sometimes it’s very easy to get a”college” degree, and the standards for graduation were nothing compared to in the U.S.

U.S. vs. Foreign Degrees

The bottom line is that there is no clear answer between U.S. or foreign universities. It all depends on the particular learning institution, as well as the individual and their other experiences and education. In reality, someone’s job performance, competency, and experience is usually more important than their degree, anyway. There are always exceptions. For example, a foreign lawyer would not be able to practice law in the U.S. without additional education and testing, no matter how good the law school they attended was. No matter how much experience a foreign doctor has, the quality of their education is essential to whether or not they can practice medicine to American standards.

If you need to choose between a U.S. or foreign degree, decide based on your field of study and your future plans. A more prestigious university, no matter what country’s it’s from, is always more valuable than an institution that’s mediocre itself

Lila Jones helps students make plans for studying abroad. As a counselor she assists in the selection of key programs and financial aids.

Header photo by Matthew Stinson
Degree photo by Sara Fasullo

Author: SmartStudent

SmartStudent is an educational portal that provides information & advice to aspiring students. regarding applying to university, choosing a course, what to take to university, finding student accommodation and much more.

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