In recent years the percentage of students who enrolled in online university classes has been steadily increasing. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a tremendous impact on the education system, and it seems likely that in the following years, even after the situation is dealt with, the trends wonít reverse their course. However, even ignoring the traditional vs online education debate, some people go one step further and argue that university education in the United States is not worth it. Are those claims valid? Letís find out.
What Are the Most Common Destinations for Foreign Students?
Although no higher education system is perfect, and it certainly applies to the one in the United States, the numbers are pretty clear – foreign students come to the US in larger numbers than to any other country.†
The United Kingdom, France, and Germany are common destinations for international students as well, but the US is the most popular place to get a university diploma. Where do the international students studying on the American soil come from? As it turns out, mostly from Asia –† the largest number of students come from China, India, and South Korea.
What Are the Rankings of American Universities?
If we take a look at QS World University Rankings, weíll find out that when compared to all the universities in the world, the American ones fare pretty well. In the top 10, you can find 5 American universities; not only that – they also take up four first positions, whereas if we look at the top 100 universities, an astounding 27 of them are located in the US.
Oftentimes people come to the US for tertiary education as there arenít decent universities in their own countries, but education itself isnít the only reason why American universities are so popular among foreigners. Sure, acquiring new skills in prestigious universities can have a tremendous impact on oneís career, but thatís not all.†
Spending several years in such a varied environment can broaden oneís horizons, as students are exposed to different ideas, and discussions with people of various backgrounds will surely help them develop their personality.
Thereís also another aspect – regardless of whether American universities do actually provide the best education, their prestige is well-known all around the world. As a result, international students who graduate from an American university, not even one that can be found in the top 100 on the previously mentioned list, can gain a significant advantage over their peers in their home countries.
Does That Mean That You Need Tertiary Education?
However, just because international students come in droves to the US, it doesnít necessarily mean that it would be a great choice for every American student to enroll in American universities. It largely depends on your field of study. If treating sick animals is your dream, then most likely, youíll need to become a doctor of veterinary medicine – online courses are not going to cut it.†
On the other hand, if you would like to become a software engineer, then a computer science university degree would certainly help you, but just as well you could acquire the necessary skills on your own. Most people learn better when there are tight deadlines, as they are helpful in keeping procrastination at bay, but if thereís a field that fascinates you, you might not have problems with motivation at all.
Remember that, unfortunately, tertiary education in the United States is pretty expensive. Sure, you could get grants, scholarships, and other means of financing your degree, but most people finish their years of university study with a sizable student loan waiting to be repaid.†
Now, if your field of interest belongs to STEM – science, technology, engineering, or mathematics, thereís a pretty high chance that getting a university degree would help you to land a well-paid job after you graduate. In this case, taking out a student loan might be a good idea, as you wonít have any trouble paying it off later.†
However, if you are interested in humanities, it doesnít necessarily mean that you should avoid student loans like fire. Instead, we propose that you do research beforehand whether the job opportunities for the graduates are good enough so that you wonít have to worry about your financial situation too much.
If we look at the statistics, we will quickly find out that American universities are considered to be the best in the entire world. The US is the most common destination for international students, and itís no wonder, as they rank first on the lists of best universities. However, it doesnít mean that everyone needs tertiary education, as in some fields, e.g., in IT, employees pay attention to skills and not to the university degree of job candidates.
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