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Old 06-16-2007, 06:48 PM
 
Location: In exile, plotting my coup
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Default Foreign degrees worthless in the U.S.?

I've spoken in the past on this board about my desire to obtain my PhD in another country in the coming years, most likely England for linguistic reasons (I'd consider other English-speaking nations and perhaps Spanish-speaking as well). However, I wonder whether or not such a thing would be worthless as it seems that the overwhelming majority of degrees from foreign univerisities simply aren't recognized here. I'm not sure if this hold as true for advanced degrees as it does for Bachelors or whether this differs wildly based on the subject of study, but we all know the traditional immigrant story of Nigerian engineers or Polish psychiatrists or Egyptian PhDs or trained medical professionals who then come to this country and are forced to work as taxi drivers or security guards because their degrees aren't recognized and might as well be non-existent, even if oftentimes from a good school. I know there are a handful of schools such as Oxford, and maybe Cambridge and McGill and the Sorbonne that are well-known and recognized in the U.S. but is it even worth earning a degree from other country if not attending the most elite of schools?
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Old 06-16-2007, 06:58 PM
MB2
 
Location: Sebastian/ FL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dullnboring View Post
I've spoken in the past on this board about my desire to obtain my PhD in another country in the coming years, most likely England for linguistic reasons (I'd consider other English-speaking nations and perhaps Spanish-speaking as well). However, I wonder whether or not such a thing would be worthless as it seems that the overwhelming majority of degrees from foreign univerisities simply aren't recognized here. I'm not sure if this hold as true for advanced degrees as it does for Bachelors or whether this differs wildly based on the subject of study, but we all know the traditional immigrant story of Nigerian engineers or Polish psychiatrists or Egyptian PhDs or trained medical professionals who then come to this country and are forced to work as taxi drivers or security guards because their degrees aren't recognized and might as well be non-existent, even if oftentimes from a good school. I know there are a handful of schools such as Oxford, and maybe Cambridge and McGill and the Sorbonne that are well-known and recognized in the U.S. but is it even worth earning a degree from other country if not attending the most elite of schools?
I have experienced, that ALL degrees are excepted and valid, as long as they are REAL. (No pun intended, since it is not unheard of that people create fictionous degrees and such)
And, of course does it add extra weight, if a foreign degree/ diploma is translated and notarized, adding a bit more legal credibility to the papers.
Just think, not everyone has the privilege to attend an elite school, for one reason or another....so, what would they do with all of those people graduating from other schools, colleges, uni's ?
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Old 06-16-2007, 08:57 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas
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2 of my degrees are from European schools and I've never had any problems with them being accepted in the US.

Perhaps I am wrong, but I've always thought the people who had problems were trying to learn enough English to pursue employment in their fields and pass licensing exams.
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Old 06-16-2007, 08:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MovingBack2PA View Post
I have experienced, that ALL degrees are excepted and valid, as long as they are REAL. (No pun intended, since it is not unheard of that people create fictionous degrees and such)
And, of course does it add extra weight, if a foreign degree/ diploma is translated and notarized, adding a bit more legal credibility to the papers.
Just think, not everyone has the privilege to attend an elite school, for one reason or another....so, what would they do with all of those people graduating from other schools, colleges, uni's ?
Exactly, MovingBack! My wife, born and raised in Germany, earned her Masters at Cologne University. With proper translation and notorization, she had her credentials reviewed in Indiana and Ohio, which was good enough to land her jobs at Purdue and one of the better school districts in Ohio.

Dullnboring, you might want to consider talking with prospective employers to see how they might treat a foreign degree. Or even consider that it may lead you to employment overseas with a multinational corporation. Good luck!
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Old 06-16-2007, 09:33 PM
 
Location: Debary, Florida
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I had a class with a woman who was a doctor in another country (Romania I think?) and had to do some additional schooling here and then pass boards before she could practice.
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Old 06-16-2007, 09:54 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX
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depends on the field. Engineering or science? you're ok. But law and education? you'll have to school up here because the rules here are different from elsewhere.
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Old 06-16-2007, 10:01 PM
 
Location: Debary, Florida
2,267 posts, read 131,957 times
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Now that I think of it, I would think anything requiring a professional license might be a problem...I imagine you would have to check on a case by case basis.

I have returned to school to get a nursing degree...I found out that in California they don't accept a 2 year RN, only a 4 year RN, so if I wanted to do contract work there, I would only be able to do once I complete the 4 year RN...
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Old 06-17-2007, 12:32 AM
 
Location: In exile, plotting my coup
2,407 posts, read 10,218,802 times
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I guess it's one of those things that I need to know the exact specifics of and only when I really narrow down specifically where and what I want to study can I investigate the value of such a degree.

I think it varies a lot based on the country, the school and the field of study. I just have encountered so many immigrants in this country working low-skill, low-pay jobs, only to learn through conversation with them that back in their home countries, they are well-trained, and university-educated in some field but were unable to find any sort of employment in this country due to their credentials not being recognized. For example, I worked for a short summer stint at Wal-Mart over one college break and among my co-workers was an MBA from Benin (West Africa), a dentist from Ethiopia, a lawyer from Iran and a university professor from Laos, all with advanced degrees, upper-class in their own countries, middle-aged, and now working at $10/hour jobs at Wal-Mart. I guess I perhaps naively assumed that this would be the case for the majority of countries.
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Old 06-17-2007, 09:43 PM
 
Location: Lake Forest, CA
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University degrees earned in countries outside the US, as long as they are from a legitimate and reputable institution are widely recognized here in the US, especially in academic and technical fields. Many of my co-workers in have university degrees from other countries, and they are not lacking in knowledge or skills in any way. If anything, the technology industry in the US has benefited greatly from people that have brought their skills here from other countries.

When I lived near Auburn, AL for a few years in the late 1990s, I noticed a high percentage of the medical doctors were from India and other parts of south Asia. The doctors had all attended well established universities in their native lands, and had later come to the US for better opportunities. After receiving medical certification in the US, they practiced in the hospitals and clinics in the smaller cities in the southeast, thank goodness, because most of the US trained physicians head for the big bucks in the big cities instead of the less affluent, less populated zip codes. Many physicians in small cities and rural areas of the US are recruited from other countries because hospitals can't find US trained doctors to fill those positions.
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Old 07-03-2007, 03:28 AM
 
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Hi, I'm in Europe right now but worked in California for 8 years as a relocation and immigration professional, so I know this topic rather well.

The validite of your degree depends on what country it is from to begin with. However, from an employer standpoint, or if you the degree holder needs to apply for a work visa, the best thing to do is a "degree equivalency". There are some organizations that specialize in this sort of thing, and if you'are not sure where to find one, call any immigration attorney in the US and ask they if they can refer you the one the work with.

Hope this helps
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