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STEM salaries for undergrads from USA vs. grad degree from USA with international undergrad degree

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Replies to: STEM salaries for undergrads from USA vs. grad degree from USA with international undergrad degree

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 58,642 Senior Member
  • wis75wis75 Registered User Posts: 11,660 Senior Member
    edited April 21
    Forget trying to find ways to maximize your son's income. Focus on maximizing his education. This includes the whole person, not just the academics. You presumably know your kid. You know his academic aptitudes, interests and stats. You also need to know his interests and desires to live in the US. My H is from India (a physician like me) and definitely belongs here. Others seem to have one foot in both countries. Given your financial situation how often would your son be able to return to visit family and friends? It is a lot different to leave home at 22 than at 18. Is it YOUR idea or his to come to the US?

    Read post # 8 again. Scenarios:

    1. Son is not enthusiastic about leaving home et al. Choose the Indian undergrad education, then further US education if HE wants to then. If he wants to stay in India and live in Indian culture, that is HIS decision.

    2. Son really wants to be in the US. He then should go for a US education. He needs to look at schools good in fields of interest, STEM from what you state. Do not just consider schools you have heard of from family and friends. Research the best schools that he has the ability for (gpa, test scores are one indicator). If he ends up at a so-so/average US college he will be just that compared to the thousands of US grads in his field. Coming out of a college known for good departments in his field will help his job prospects. I assume he has no ties that make any one region stand out. He can always add a masters to his bachelor's degree later.

    3. Son is more neutral about going to school in the US. He then should aim for the best school he can get into and be successful at in either country. A degree from a well respected Indian U is better than one from a so-so US school- he will have learned more. Hw would have the advantage of coming to work in the US without needing a visa- a good thing for companies. There are Indian U's that give a much better STEM education than many average US colleges. The tech industry prefers the best grads- you have taken citizenship issues out of the equation.

    Finances will of course determine the exact path. Do not go into debt if you do not need to. Do not spend your retirement savings.

    As you can see, it is all about education, not snagging the good job. It is HIS ability that counts, not just where he went to school. Being a top student at a good Indian U is better than being okay at an average US college for his major. The tech world is familiar with the caliber of students coming from many Indian U's.

    It is very important to take into consideration your son's wishes. Yes, he is a US citizen. But he apparently is being raised Indian. It looks as though you tried life in the US but preferred to return to India. Perhaps your son likewise likes Indian culture. I know many people from India and can list pros and cons from their varied viewpoints. I know people whose kids came here and chose to stay. H has many classmates who came and others who chose to stay in India. Quality of life, not just income matters.


    Short answer- for the thread question. Salary and job opportunities will correspond to ability. Being a good student from a good U is best.
  • blossomblossom Registered User Posts: 7,584 Senior Member
    And even the most die hard Comp Sci kid can get to college and fall in love with econ or history. So picking a college to predict future earnings/discipline/career is bound to be an exercise in frustration!

    otherwise I agree with everything Wis says!!!!
  • golfdude71golfdude71 Registered User Posts: 29 New Member
    Wis, thanks a lot for the insightful reply. We lived in California for 14 years and loved every bit of it. We returned to India out of choice to give a taste of India to our kids, take care of aging parents etc. Both me and my wife have studied and worked in USA. I do not want my kids to miss out on the good things USA has to offer specially education. Thus the dilemma.
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 8,939 Senior Member
    He's not going to get the "American college experience" in India (and a Master's is not the same type of experience).

    How much does that matter to him?
  • jym626jym626 Registered User Posts: 50,592 Senior Member
    Don't expect money from the UC schools.

    You say you are paying state taxes? To what state are you paying taxes?
  • PBDPBD Registered User Posts: 36 Junior Member
    Given the options, I would encourage you to have your son acquire his undergrad degree in India, and aim for a graduate degree in the USA. For one thing, a good engineering grad school in the US will often cost you nothing. Your son should may receive a stipend and tuition waiver. My son is in graduate school in engineering, my daughter is in grad school in psychology, and all of the good programs provide financial support.

    And also, once he has a graduate degree, no one cares where his undergrad degree came from. He'll have better options for advancement with an MS. Although, a PhD might be overkill unless he really wants to go into academia.
  • PBDPBD Registered User Posts: 36 Junior Member
    I should add that both of my kids are currently in Master's programs. While funding for master's is less common than for PhD's, it can definitely be found for a good student- especially in engineering.
  • golfdude71golfdude71 Registered User Posts: 29 New Member
    jym626, I pay state tax to California.

    PBD, yes. thats the dilemma I am in right now. Do undergrad in India or USA. Thanks for your insight and your personal experience.
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 8,939 Senior Member
    I think the son should have a strong say in this decision unless he truly doesn't care.
  • golfdude71golfdude71 Registered User Posts: 29 New Member
    Purpletitan, definitely. He will have the final say. I am just trying to decide what options to present to him :)
  • boudersbouders Registered User Posts: 1,563 Senior Member
    Paying state taxes does not make your son eligible for in-state tuition in California. http://www.ucop.edu/residency/residency-requirements.html
  • golfdude71golfdude71 Registered User Posts: 29 New Member
    Yes, I understand. It is just one of the requirements.

    The main requirement from what I have understood from my communication with California universities is that one parent needs to be physically living in California one year prior to school starting. If the child is below 24, child gets residency through the parent.
  • golfdude71golfdude71 Registered User Posts: 29 New Member
    But after hearing opinions from folks here, I think it is risk free to rather apply as OOS to good quality Universities which are in my budget. There will be no surprises later on.

    So for now, I don't think I will be trying for California residency.
  • simba9simba9 Registered User Posts: 2,195 Senior Member
    No need to go to grad school if he gets a bachelors in CS from a US university.

    How much he makes right after graduation will be very dependent on which part of the country he ends up working in. If he's in New York or San Francisco/Silicon Valley, he could be starting out at $80,000. If he's in Ohio or Missouri, he might start out at $50,000.
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