Is it Better to Pursue MS in the US or in Germany?

posted at Sept. 4, 2019, 1:23 p.m.

This is a common question that we’re asked very often. Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer. What we can and should do is to compare the two countries and you can make the decision based on what’s better for you.

Quality of Education: The quality of education is fairly constant across German universities. Even employers don’t differentiate between universities while they look for talent as they give more importance to the students' profile. In the USA, the quality of education at a top 30 university is easily the best in the world but starts to get really bad for the lower-ranked universities. If you’re admitted into a not-so-reputed US university, you might be better off picking Germany.

Cost: The USA is expensive. Depending on the university, you will likely spend upwards of 35 lakhs (INR) at least on a master’s degree in the US. That can go up to 70 lakhs as well for a lot of top private universities and Ivy League schools. In contrast, German education is far cheaper and is often free. Hence Germany is better in terms of cost. Also, in Germany, you can work wherever you please outside the university. You can work in restaurants, gas stations or anywhere you wish to earn while you study. The USA will only allow you to work on the university campus on your F1 student Visa. Yes, every other friend or cousin of yours in the US with an F1 student visa is working at department stores.

Job Scenario: Contrary to all the hype about Trump’s administration, not much has changed for Indian students who go to REPUTED universities. In the USA, you will have a 3 year STEM extension. Hence you can work there irrespective of the H1B situation for 3 years at least. You should be able to recover the cost of education and pay off loans within that time. The likelihood of finding a job in your core discipline is a different issue though. Which country you should pick depends on the course. For Computer Science, Data Science, AI, ML, ECE, Analytics the USA is definitely better in terms of jobs whereas Germany is far better for Mechanical, Automobile, Electrical related fields. Overall, it is still easier to find a job in the USA in the first place (the visa comes into contention only if you have a job after all) Let’s address the work visa scenario in Germany now, Germany allows you to stay in the country for 18 months searching for jobs. You can find employment using other avenues to aid you as you search for a full-time job. That seems like a good deal right? It would seem like Germany is winning, hands down. But life is never perfect nor simple.

Language: DO NOT GO TO GERMANY WITHOUT GAINING ENOUGH PROFICIENCY IN GERMAN LANGUAGE. A lot of applicants tell us about German universities that have their medium of instruction as English and that they don’t need proof of German language proficiency to get an admit. Sure that’s true. But convincing an employer to give you a job in Germany without knowing German is quite a task. You likely won’t be able to convince the recruiter and hence will have to come back home.

Long Term Prospects: You will only be eligible for a German PR if you find employment in a field related to your studies. That’s the reason why you should only select particular courses in Germany since they offer greater opportunities. The likelihood of you finding a job related to your studies will also improve greatly if you go to Germany with relevant work experience prior to your degree. Without ticking these boxes, finding a job in Germany might be really hard.

Salary: No comparison in terms of salaries. CS grads earn upwards of $100k a year in the USA. Analytics grads earn close to 85k. In contrast, in Germany, you will probably earn around 40–50k Euros. If you want to earn quickly, save up and come back home then the USA is the best destination still thanks to the glorious STEM extension.

These are the factors that we could think of, to draw a fair comparison between the two countries. If you want to talk to us or any German MS grads about how they cracked an admit and how their job search is, schedule a free call with us. We are a real cool mentoring platform that’s placed students in universities like TU Munich, RWTH, Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, Purdue, UT Austin and pretty much every other top-notch school.

Gradvine | Been There Done That