Editorial: American dream

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Updated: November 24, 2014 2:24:08 AM

Indian students are once again looking for American degrees

Here’s one possible indicator that the US economy has turned the corner—the number of Indian students to American colleges has registered a rise for the first time in five years. Economic analysts believe that Indians had lost faith in the American economy and the US job market, so many had decided to stay away post the 2008 global meltdown. This is part of a recent report by the Institute of International Education which looks at Indian and Chinese students in American universities. There were close to 900,000 international students in American universities in 2013, of which five out of every ten were from India and China.

According to the report, Chinese students tend to choose undergraduate courses focused on business, while Indians opt for short graduate programmes in more technical subjects like science and maths. When they go for an international degree, Indians prefer to go for two-year graduate courses that lead to high-paying jobs. Close to 80% of Indian students in the US last year were aiming to get technical degrees in science, technology, engineering or maths, the study showed. Chinese students leaned more towards business degrees. The report shows Indians are more cost-benefit conscious than the Chinese. The average student cost works out to $250,000 over four years. If no job is guaranteed, as was the case in the last four years, Indians stayed away. With employment numbers in the US showing an uptick, Indian students are once again looking for American degrees.

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