International Students Skeptical That US Education Will Pay Off in Their Careers

United States North America Higher Education News International Studies by Erudera News Mar 18, 2022

New York, United States

International students recommend the United States as a study destination; however, they are skeptical that the US higher education will pay off in their careers, a survey involving more than 1,000 students from over 100 countries of the world has revealed.

The research was commissioned by Interstride, which is a digital platform supporting international students with their educational and career goals, reports.

The survey “Is studying in the U.S. worth it?” was assembled by the higher education consultant Anna Esaki-Smith of Education Rethink, who asked students about their experiences while pursuing education in the United States. 

“We have international students who value the U.S. study abroad experience, drawn to the country by the stellar reputation of U.S. colleges and universities,” she said. “But what we offer in terms of tangible value to students through the lens of career outcomes is not as clear to these students,” Anna Esaki-Smith said.

84 percent of survey participants said that they would recommend other students to study in the United States; however, only 49 percent of respondents said that the value of a US education pays off in their careers.

According to Esaki-Smith, the higher-education community should close the perceived “value gap,” pointing out the following recommendations:

  • More outreach by career centers to involve international students in career readiness services.  
  • Build upon students’ existing positive stance about the US study experience by offering emotional and professional support.  
  • Develop closer relations with employers in the United States that could potentially employ international graduates.

Millions of international students pursued studies at more than 4,000 colleges and universities in the United States almost every year, making the US the country with the largest international student population in the world.

According to the Open Doors report released by the Institute of International Education (IIE) the number of international students in the United States dropped by 15 percent from 2019/20 to 2020/21 academic year. There were 1,075,496 international students in 2019/20, which a drop to 914,095 in the academic year 2020/21.

China and India remain the main sources of international students in the United States.

US universities are known worldwide for their academic excellence, with hundreds listed among the top universities in the world. 27 US-based universities were listed in the top 100 best universities globally by QS World University Rankings 2021.

The amount that international students pay in the United States per year at public higher education institutions reaches nearly $45,000.

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