USA: The Value of Foreign Degrees by Source Country

Interesting analysis, broken down by country of study. Not sure if anyone has done the same for Canada but would not be surprised to see a similar pattern:

Whether assessing the education level of recent arrivals or designing a “high-skill” system for selecting future immigrants, analysts should be careful not to treat foreign degrees as equivalent to U.S. degrees. Using data from the National Survey of College Graduates, this report shows not only that foreign degrees as a whole are less valuable in the U.S. than U.S. degrees, but also that their value varies substantially depending on the specific country or region where the degrees were earned.

The findings below refer to full-time U.S. workers with at least a bachelor’s degree:

  • After controlling for a traditional set of earnings-related characteristics, foreign-educated immigrants earn 17 percent less than natives who were educated in the U.S.
  • The foreign-degree penalty is driven primarily by immigrants educated in non-Western countries.
  • Immigrants educated in Latin America (24 percent salary penalty), Eastern Europe (27 percent), China (28 percent), the Philippines (35 percent), and Africa (39 percent) all experience penalties that exceed the foreign-degree average.
  • By contrast, immigrants educated in Western Europe, Australia, and India earn roughly the same salaries as comparable U.S. natives.
  • Canadian-educated immigrants earn 20 percent more than U.S. natives.
  • Controlling for the type of entry visa that each immigrant receives does not eliminate the variation in foreign-degree value.

Source: The Value of Foreign Degrees by Source Country

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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