Is British degree useless in the USA?

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MJay91
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Hello,

I'm just wondering... if you have an undergraduate degree from a business school in the UK, do you have any chances to get a job in the US (considering that you are US citizen)? How do the American employers view the UK degrees?

Thanks
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nojoegohome
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Yes Americans don't value British degrees as much.

Unless it is from a really good uni like oxford.

Because US degrees are generally harder and last 4 years rather than 3 and cost more.
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SophiaKeuning
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(Original post by nojoegohome)
Yes Americans don't value British degrees as much.

Unless it is from a really good uni like oxford.

Because US degrees are generally harder and last 4 years rather than 3 and cost more.
Really? Are degrees less common in the US then?
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chazzagregz
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(Original post by nojoegohome)
Yes Americans don't value British degrees as much.

Unless it is from a really good uni like oxford.

Because US degrees are generally harder and last 4 years rather than 3 and cost more.
Is cost really a factor? American degrees only cost more because the US government don't subsidise them.
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nojoegohome
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(Original post by chazzagregz)
Is cost really a factor? American degrees only cost more because the US government don't subsidise them.
Yes American universities have so much more funding than UK ones per student it makes UK universities look like primary schools.

An example both universities have 20k students but the funding is massively different.

Harvard university has $25,000,000,000
Oxford university has £5,500,000,000

This happens to all universities in the US

A more interesting example

University of Birmingham UK - £85 Million with 26k students
University of Alabama at Birmingham USA - $332 Million with 18k students
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mixxy
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[QUOTE=nojoegohome]Yes Americans don't value British degrees as much.

Unless it is from a really good uni like oxford.

Because US degrees are generally harder and last 4 years rather than 3 and cost more.[/QUOTE]

:rolleyes:
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Pink Bullets
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I am wondering this too, as I am probably moving back to the US (where I'm from) with two UK degrees. My BA is from King's College London and my MA is from the London College of Communication (which has a very good reputation in the UK for my subject, FYI).

Does anyone have any solid information about how this will be viewed? For example, if an employer hasn't heard of KCL will they think "**** it, must be worse than Yonkers Community College (I made that up btw)" or "hmm, that's interesting, I wonder what that's like"? At least it doesn't sound like a ****hole...
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drive like june
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I don't agree that it boils down to how 'hard' or 'long' the degree is. It says nothing about how the person interacts with others in the office or how they perform in their specific tasks (which are often interrelated).

It's not that UK degrees are useless, but it's just much more sensible to hire someone local. Why would I hire someone from half way around the world just on the basis of a degree when equally qualified people are found here right now? A person from LBS would probably fare worse for a job in Detroit than someone from Ross B School. On the other hand someone from Ross would probably fare worse in London than someone from LBS. In the latter case, it's not to say American degrees are useless in the UK. Now an LBS and Ross grad who are both already in Detroit or both in London is a different story so I'm not even gonna go there... but you get the point.
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kissurmojo
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(Original post by MJay91)
Hello,

I'm just wondering... if you have an undergraduate degree from a business school in the UK, do you have any chances to get a job in the US (considering that you are US citizen)? How do the American employers view the UK degrees?

Thanks
If you're going to work for an international company, it shouldn't be a problem. Or if they have other UK graduates, it should be OK. Both my parents have UK degrees and work in the US (but for international companies).
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TheSmokeMonster
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(Original post by nojoegohome)
Yes Americans don't value British degrees as much.

Unless it is from a really good uni like oxford.

Because US degrees are generally harder and last 4 years rather than 3 and cost more.
Back that up please. Generally harder?

It's a different system. US degrees last 4 years because for the first 2 years they take a much wider range of courses, often ones that aren't related to their major. This is perhaps because of their less rigorous high school system (of course there are APs, and the IB but not everyone does these). Their normal highschool diploma just isn't equivalent to A lvls in Britain.

After these 2 years then they specialise in their major - whereas in Britain you are specialised specifically in your subject from the first year (barring some things like Cambridge Tripos). This explains why UK bachelors are only 3 years.

Additionally their system of assessment is different - it is based more on continual assessment, GPA, than it is on large final examinations.

Whether or not these factors make UK degrees harder or easier than US degrees is debatable - for one thing the two education systems, from secondary education to bachelors degree are very different and hard to compare.

And you cite financial endowment as a measure of how good the education provided will be? I'd like to see how closely those variables correlate, and even if they do, I'd debate whether one causes the other.
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ChemistBoy
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What about Scottish degrees that are 4 years long?
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boomchickawowwow
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Whilst spending per student at top UK universities is less than at top US universities, you must take into account that US academics are paid two to three times as much (depending on subject) for similar positions, so you can't draw comparisons based on funding alone.

p.s. Also remember that whilst US degrees are longer, many US students who come to the UK say that our courses are more intensive (if narrower) and are closer to US postgraduate courses. US students also spend more time doing sports and other extracurriculars (Columbia undergrads have Friday off so they can do internships) so an equally bright and hardworking student there may be less academically skilled (though have better other skills.)
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MagicNMedicine
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Yes of course you have a chance of getting a job, there are people working in the US or UK with degrees from all over the world. However the chances of getting a job and a green card as a new graduate are pretty slim. If you have worked elsewhere and have professional experience and a professional qualification then that will be more likely.
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nulli tertius
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This is really about the grass being greener.

Generally, and I think this holds for the whole world including the USA, someone who attends a top home institution will be preferred to someone who attends a foreign one, because an employer understands the value of the top home institution and cannot be so sure of the value of a foreign one. The Harvard graduate will be preferred to the Oxford one in the US, the Oxford one to the Harvard one in the UK.

Below that level, the foreign institution will be preferred to the home one because it makes the candidate stand out and appear more distinctive. The applicant from Oklahoma State looks better for the job in Leeds than the graduate of Manchester. In Los Angeles, the Leeds graduate looks better than the Oklahoma State one. The foreignness of the institution is itself a selling point.

One can see that with Americans who miss out on a top US grad school preferring to do a Masters in the UK (not Oxbridge). In means you are not so easily placed in an unfavourable position in a ranking order. One is something apart from the general run of candidates.
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bugsy12
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(Original post by kissurmojo)
If you're going to work for an international company, it shouldn't be a problem. Or if they have other UK graduates, it should be OK. Both my parents have UK degrees and work in the US (but for international companies).

If you wouldn't mind me asking, what degrees did your parents do and from what uk universities?
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Hal.E.Lujah
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People seem to have a bit of a misunderstanding about American degrees. They include what we do at A level as part of their degree, and generally do the equivalent of an MA at the end. So yes, degrees are harder and not doing one is the same as us leaving school at GCSE level. I much prefer our system because it doesn't create huge social divides like theirs, and if the cost of that is to have people in a country renowned for ignorance and stupidity look down on my piece of paper then so be it.


In terms of getting a job with a business degree, it definitely depends on the calibre of the applicant. Your degree won't guarantee you a job, just the chance to apply, and you should just focus on being the best possible applicant.

Applying to universities out there for PhDs, it would be discriminatory to scrutinise our degree system rather than individual applicants who wouldn't have had a choice in their degree system. They're told to treat applicants equally on this, though there's no way of knowing if they do and they probably do consider our MAs the same as their basic degree bundle.
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barefeet1099
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I am a Brit who studied in the States (secondary education to Masters level). My conclusion was that British graduates may have a deeper knowledge of their degree subject, but Americans have a better overall breadth due to the opportunities to take classes in subjects other than just the major. I think my US uni offered a broader extracurricular experience too, but obviously that's somewhat subjective. I don't feel that I missed out or am less educated compared to my British friends.

To the OP, you need to understand that your employer probably doesn't know, and most likely doesn't care much about your foreign degree. Your job is to explain to them what you gained from it, why it differentiates you from US-educated candidates, and how those skills will benefit the employer. Think of it as problem-solving, and remember that you know much more about it than the employer, so you can structure the conversation to highlight your strengths. E.g. I frequently talk about how my time in the US has given me a strong and dedicated work ethic (playing into the workaholic American stereotype a bit )and people respond to that. Your pitch might be your opportunity to develop substantial knowledge of a particular business area in the UK/Europe/EMEA through experience, networking, etc., if that is valuable to the employer. Or maybe you have different consulting approaches from a US-educated person so could offer some innovative solutions. Stuff like that.

Think about why you chose to study in the UK and not the US, and rephrase those benefits into something your employer will care about. If your school is prestigious, tell them why, but keep the focus on you and hopefully the quality of your education will speak for itself.
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justinawe
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(Original post by nojoegohome)
Yes American universities have so much more funding than UK ones per student it makes UK universities look like primary schools.

An example both universities have 20k students but the funding is massively different.

Harvard university has $25,000,000,000
Oxford university has £5,500,000,000

This happens to all universities in the US

A more interesting example

University of Birmingham UK - £85 Million with 26k students
University of Alabama at Birmingham USA - $332 Million with 18k students
This is most definitely true, but whether the difference in funding actually has much of an impact, if any, on an undergraduate student is debatable. For sure, it's a pretty big deal for a postgrad student, or if you're looking to work as a professor/researcher, but the vast majority will just be wanting a bachelor's degree.
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xsem0
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I, like you, plan to move the US with a UK degree. My plan is to work in my chose profession in the UK for maybe 3-5 years to save money and then do a masters at an American university.
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Teddy3434
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You're talking absolute nonsense I know many people that have gone to the United States specifically New York to work in professional jobs with their degrees. Let me just say this it primarily depends on the employer however saying that the standards are not the same and well recognised in the US not just Oxford or Cambridge.
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