When it comes to choosing a university, the cost of attendance is an important factor for many students and their families. But it’s not the only consideration. In addition to tuition, room and board, books and other supplies, students must also weigh potential earnings after graduation.
Both American and British universities offer excellent educational opportunities, but which offers the best salary package?
According to a study by QS World University Rankings, the average starting salary for graduates of American universities is $49,000. This is higher than the average starting salary for graduates of British universities, which is $45,000. However, the cost of attendance at American universities is also higher than the cost of attendance at British universities.
So, which university offers the best salary package? It depends on your priorities. If you are more interested in earning a high salary right after graduation, then American universities are a better option. But if you are more interested in affordable tuition and living expenses, then British universities are a better choice.
If you are considering where to study – the US or the UK – TutorHelp.Club experts advise you to consider the following:
- The maximum number of universities you can apply for: In the US, you can apply to a maximum of 20 universities, while in the UK you can apply to a maximum of 5. There are more universities in the US, but they may be less selective. This matters a lot if you are an international student trying to get a student visa as being able to apply to a larger selection of universities can increase your chances of getting accepted.
- Tuition fees: In the US, tuition fees are much higher than in the UK. The average cost of tuition for an undergraduate degree at a private university is $32,000 per year, compared to £9,000 (approximately $11,600) per year at a British university. This is an important consideration if you are looking at Return on Investment (ROI). The salary packages graduates from American universities get may be higher, but you will need to pay back your loans sooner.
3. Living expenses: Living expenses are also higher in the US than in the UK. The average cost of living for a student in the US is $19,000 per year, compared to £11,000 (approximately $14,400) per year in the UK. The most expensive student cities in the US include Boston, New York City, and San Francisco, while the most expensive student cities in the UK are London, Oxford, and Cambridge.
4. Scholarships and grants: There are more scholarships and grants available in the US than in the UK. The average amount of financial aid offered to students in the US is $22,000 per year, compared to £5,500 (approximately $7,200) per year in the UK. As an international student, you should research all the scholarships and grants available to you, as well as the different loan options.
5. Employment opportunities: There are more employment opportunities available in the US than in the UK. The unemployment rate in the US is 4.3%, while the unemployment rate in the UK is 7.8%. If you are an international student and intend to settle in your chosen country forever, you have a better chance of finding good jobs in the US. Some of the professionals highest in demand in the US are nurses, engineers, and teachers. In the UK, the most in-demand professionals are IT professionals, engineers, and nurses.
6. The difficulty of the application process: The application process is more difficult in the US than in the UK. In the US, you must submit transcripts, test scores, letters of recommendation, and an essay. In the UK, you only need to submit your academic transcripts. If you are an international student, the application process is even more difficult in the US.
7. Time taken to complete a degree: It takes longer to complete a degree in the US than in the UK. The average time it takes to earn an undergraduate degree in the US is 4 years, compared to 3 years in the UK. At the postgraduate level, it takes an average of 2 years to earn a degree in the US, compared to 1 year in the UK.
8. The flexibility of course structure: In the US, you can explore multiple subjects for a year before choosing your major. The course structure is more rigid in the UK. But this is the reason the degree courses take lesser time in the UK as compared to the US. In the UK, you can opt for optional modules or electives to offer some degree of flexibility to students.
9. Student life and accommodation in the UK vs the US: In the UK, there are more on-campus accommodation options available than in the US. On-campus accommodation is generally cheaper and comes with added benefits, such as access to a gym and social events. The student life in the UK is also more vibrant than in the US, with a large number of clubs and societies to choose from. But it also depends on your location. If you are studying in a big city in the US, you will find plenty of student accommodation options and a lively student life.
10. Pedagogical methods used in colleges and universities: In the UK, the teaching methods used in colleges and universities are more lecture-based. The professor is the center of attention and students are required to take notes during lectures. In the US, teaching methods are more student-centered. Teachers engage students in discussions and encourage them to participate in-class activities. This can be a challenge for international students who are not used to the teaching methods in the US.
American universities that offer top salary packages to recent graduates include:
- Boston University: Academic disciplines where graduates attract the best salary packages in this university include business, engineering, and health sciences. The maximum salary package hovers around $110,000 while the average salary package is around $85,000.
- New York University: The top salary package offered to graduates of this university is $130,000. The average salary package is $105,000. NYU study programs whose graduates attract the most plum jobs are business, law, engineering, and health sciences.
- San Francisco State University: San Francisco students pursuing programs like business and engineering can expect to receive a salary package of up to $110,000. The average salary package is around $88,000.
- University of California, Los Angeles: UCLA alumni working in business and engineering can earn a salary of up to $120,000. The average salary package is around $95,000.
- University of Michigan: Graduates of business, engineering, and health sciences disciplines at the University of Michigan can earn a salary package of up to $110,000. The average salary package is around $90,000. You may also consider courses like dentistry, pharmacy, and optometry which have a higher starting salary.
- Yale University: The top salary package offered to Yale graduates is $135,000. The average salary package is around $112,000. Academic disciplines at Yale where graduates have been able to secure the best jobs are business, law, medicine, and engineering.
British universities that offer top salary packages to recent graduates include:
- Cambridge University: Graduates of courses like business, engineering, and mathematics can earn a salary package of up to £105,000. The average salary package is around £75,000.
- Imperial College London: The top salary package offered to recent graduates of Imperial College is £120,000. The average graduate salary package is around £85,000. Study programs that are seen as most lucrative are business, engineering, and health sciences.
- London School of Economics and Political Science: Recent graduates of this school can earn a salary package of up to £105,000. The average salary package is around £75,000. The most popular courses that offer high starting-salaries are in business, economics, law, and political science.
- University of Oxford: Oxford alumni with degrees in business, economics, law, and medicine can earn a salary package of up to £120,000. The average salary package is around £85,000. Studying at Oxford is seen as a stepping stone to a successful career in business, law, and medicine.
- University of Warwick: Recent graduates of Warwick can earn a salary package of up to £105,000. The average salary package is around £75,000. Courses that lead to the best-paying jobs are business, engineering, and mathematics.
Which university should I choose?
It depends on individual preferences. If you are looking for a more traditional educational experience and want to earn a degree in a shorter period, then a UK university is a better option. If you want more flexibility in your course structure and want to explore multiple subjects before choosing your major, then an American university is a better option.
And if you are looking for the best salary package after graduation, then you should consider both American and British universities – keeping in mind that the cost of studying in the US is much higher than in the UK.