A foreign degree is expensive! For most students, their dad or mom funds their foreign degree from hard-earned savings.
Or, they mortgage their home to get an education loan for you.
Basically, you and your family are investing a considerable amount of money for a piece of paper – a foreign degree.
Is it worth it?
Here is a cost-benefit analysis of a foreign degree, purely in terms of career outcomes -
Better Employment Prospects -
Most of the companies today are targeting global markets and they want to hire the best talent available globally. So you are competing against not just your peers from some small colleges in India, or against the best of talent from IITs and NITs, but against everybody out there. A foreign degree prepares you to adapt in varied settings by working with people from different cultures. It challenges you to go beyond your comfort zone and manage uncertainties. These leadership qualities help you stand out in a competitive job market and seek jobs on your terms.
Quality Networking -
Imagine a class full of people from dozens of countries with varied academic as well as extra-curricular interests. You bond with them over the course of your degree program and form life long relationships. This is your biggest takeaway from a foreign degree. You may not realize its full potential at this stage of your life but remember this – to build a successful career you need some people to open doors for you, some people to guide you and some people to support you. It is rare to find such people and a disproportionately large number of such people will be your former college buddies.
Move up the ladder -
What do the bosses of Infosys (Vishal Sikka), Microsoft (Satya Nadella), Pepsi (Indra Nooyi) and Biocon (Kiran Majumdar-Shaw) have in common? Well, all of them have a foreign degree. This is not to say that you need a foreign degree to become a CEO. But it does indicate that a foreign degree helps you scale up in terms of your career.
I am purposefully not talking about intangible benefits that exposure to a wider world view brings. Let’s keep that for a future post. A foreign degree is an investment in your future career. The initial investment might seem prohibitive, but the benefits far outweigh the costs.
So, if you can, go for it.