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

golfdude71golfdude71 Registered User Posts: 31 Junior Member
Folks,

What are the average salaries in STEM fields with undergraduate degree only from mid ranked Universities in USA ? How does that compare with salaries for a grad in STEM field from a mid ranked USA university who has an undergrad degree from outside the USA (from India).

I am trying to find out if doing undergrad in India and then going for grad studies in USA will be cost effective compared to doing undergrad study in USA.

The assumption here is that my kid will probably not go for grad studies if he does undergrad in USA. If he does undergrad in India he will definitely go for grad studies in USA.

In short, I am trying to evaluate the ROI for a undergrad degree compared to undergrad in India plus grad degree in USA.

He is a USA citizen.

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

  • blossomblossom Registered User Posts: 7,601 Senior Member
    There is no such thing as a STEM field.

    There is electrical engineering which is different from bio which is different from aerospace engineering which is different from applied math.

    You cannot conflate all of these degrees and the hundreds of careers into one big ball of STEM.
  • jym626jym626 Registered User Posts: 50,609 Senior Member
    DItto what @blossom said. That's like asking what the salaries are in healthcare. Way to broad a question.
  • golfdude71golfdude71 Registered User Posts: 31 Junior Member
    Yes. Most likely my kid will choose Electrical Engineering or Computer Science.
  • blossomblossom Registered User Posts: 7,601 Senior Member
    You can be an electrical engineer working for a construction company and make 90K per year after 5 years, or an electrical engineer working for a Silicon Valley start- up making 70K but with a million dollars worth of options.

    Your premise is very faulty. I don't think you can make this decision based on what you are focused on.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 58,721 Senior Member
    golfdude71 wrote:
    In short, I am trying to evaluate the ROI for a undergrad degree compared to undergrad in India plus grad degree in USA.

    He is a USA citizen.

    The usual case involving non-US citizens is that the student will do a low cost bachelor's degree in the country of citizenship or residency, then a funded graduate degree in the US, simply because attending undergraduate in the US is too expensive for most international students (who have very limited possibilities of financial aid and scholarships).

    As a US citizen living outside the US, he is in a different situation. He will be eligible for financial aid and scholarships available to US citizens but not international students, but will not be an in-state resident for state universities. So the possibility of a lower cost bachelor's degree in the US is a potential cost effective option, although he will have fewer options than a US citizen living in a state in the US where in-state public universities are attractive.

    No one can tell the ROI comparison for you, since you did not give any information about what you can afford, what level of financial aid you are looking at (check net price calculators at various college web sites), what schools in India and US he can realistically get admitted to, how competitive getting into a funded US graduate program would be from the schools in India that he may attend, etc.. Of course, financial ROI can depend greatly on economic and industry conditions at the time of graduation.
  • golfdude71golfdude71 Registered User Posts: 31 Junior Member
    Ok. Let me put it in a different way leaving out the salary part. Which of the following will hiring companies favor ?

    1) An undergrad only degree from a good USA university.

    2) An undergrad degree from outside USA (probably the hiring entity has not heard about this college however good it might be since it is outside USA) plus a grad degree (masters) again from a good USA university.
  • golfdude71golfdude71 Registered User Posts: 31 Junior Member
    I am able to shell out a total of $100k for my kid from my own money. Although I would prefer to shell out $50k and take the rest in loans if aid is not available.

    I am targeting mod ranked state Universities like UT Dallas, Ohio State, University of California colleges etc.
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan Registered User Posts: 9,005 Senior Member
    "Which of the following will hiring companies favor ?"

    Companies would favor the person who can do good work and has the potential to excel.

    So the key question should rather be: What options would set up your kid to be that person.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 58,721 Senior Member
    edited April 21
    golfdude71 wrote:
    Ok. Let me put it in a different way leaving out the salary part. Which of the following will hiring companies favor ?

    1) An undergrad only degree from a good USA university.

    2) An undergrad degree from outside USA (probably the hiring entity has not heard about this college however good it might be since it is outside USA) plus a grad degree (masters) again from a good USA university.

    A few schools have career surveys showing pay levels by both major and degree level. For example:

    http://www.sjsu.edu/careercenter/docs/Salary Survey Report 2014-15.pdf
    https://careers.calpoly.edu/search.php
    https://gecd.mit.edu/resources/survey-data

    However, the results for master's degrees do not indicate whether the graduate did bachelor's degree in the US or otherwise, and whether the graduate was an international student who needed a work visa, so they should be considered with caution.
    golfdude71 wrote:
    I am able to shell out a total of $100k for my kid from my own money. Although I would prefer to shell out $50k and take the rest in loans if aid is not available.

    I am targeting mod ranked state Universities like UT Dallas, Ohio State, University of California colleges etc.

    At your budget, you need to check net price calculators to see if it is even possible on financial aid (and be aware that public universities give little or no financial aid to non-residents of their states). If the net price calculator results are too high, then your son needs to seek large merit scholarships or possibly low list price schools. He can borrow a limited amount on federal direct loans ($5,500 first year), but additional loans would require a cosigner (you) or be parent loans, either of which is typically a bad idea since it seems like you do not really have the money.
  • golfdude71golfdude71 Registered User Posts: 31 Junior Member
    I have $200k set aside exclusively for both my kids' education. I can shell it out completely if forced to but would rather use some kind of student/parent loan.

    Besides being a USA citizen currently living outside USA, I currently also have USA income and am filing federal/state taxes so am hoping can qualify for loans.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 58,721 Senior Member
    Your credit score, income, and assets will determine whether you can get loans. If you do the usually-inadvisable thing of borrowing for your kids' undergraduate education, try to avoid making either of these mistakes:

    A. Taking too much debt in the student's first year, then not being able to get additional loan in later years due to having too much debt, forcing the student to drop out.
    B. Taking on so much debt that you can only pay it off with assistance from your kids, which will severely restrict their life choices. For example, they may always have to chase the money to have enough to help you, which can prevent them from choosing a job that is lower pay now but may be better for future career development later.
  • 50N40W50N40W Registered User Posts: 748 Member
    From what I've seen, a BS eng from a US school may start a little lower than an MS eng from the same school, but that difference washes out in 2-2.5 years.

    Sometimes it seems that Visa sponsorship maybe factors into offers, but that's not based on hard data.

    If your kid has a decent GPA and over 30 ACT, several schools should be available for 50-75 for 4 years.
  • golfdude71golfdude71 Registered User Posts: 31 Junior Member
    Ucbalumnus, Ok. Thanks. Excellent points.

    50N40W, I have not come across any schools for 50 to 75 k for 4 years. Is this after aid / grants ?
  • JpgranierJpgranier Registered User Posts: 1,172 Senior Member
    edited April 21
    @golfdude71 there aren't many universities in that price range, for international students at least. What are your kid's stats? We could guide you toward schools that would likely end up in your price range, post scholarship and financial aid.
  • 50N40W50N40W Registered User Posts: 748 Member
    Us citizen + automatic merit aid. ABET engineering is pretty standard, and even less popular schools get 90+% employment rates for their grads.
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