Almost all international students have this dilemma. Recently, one student wrote this comment:
I got admit from 2 universities. I am almost prepared for coming US for my Masters for Fall 2009.
But my problem is all my friends, relatives are asking me to stop my plans to study in the US because of the tough times and economy in recession.
How long will the situation be the same? Can we expect the economy to recover after a year?
Every person has his or her own thoughts and feelings about the US economy. But to make a sound decision, you got to know and understand so many things.
Talk to people who have different views of the world. Both optimistic and pessimistic people.
Don’t make your final decision just based on a handful of people who said negative things about the economy. So asking opinions from your friends and family is absolutely perfect.
Usually, if you trust someone, by default you assume he or she is right and you tend to go with what that person has to say. A few days, later you might come across another influential person, who might advise you in a different way.
That’s when people get confused. But to make informed decisions, you got to hear as many opinions as possible from persons with different views.
This is what makes leaders different from managers and people who follow the leaders. I’m talking about something philosophical, right? If I say, you can go to the US, then it’s just going to be another person’s opinion.
But if I explain how to make a sound decision, it might help so many readers who got admissions to the Fall 2009 semester but are still undecided or confused.
Job Market in the US – Not Looking Good
The U.S. job market is not good and many people are losing jobs. There are so many questions surrounding this.
- Is this going to continue for the next 2-3 years?
- When is the job market expected to pick up?
- If I get a job, will H-1B visa would be available?
It’s very hard to predict what can happen 1-2 years from now. Less than 9 months back, the job market was good, but so many changes had happened in a very short time.
Predict Future based on Past
To predict the future of how long will the US economy recover from recession, look at what had happened in the previous recession. The job market was bad during 2000 to 2003, but it was able to recover.
The same will happen for every recession. But how long will the recovery be is hard to say for certain. The new Stimulus Bill is expected to create new jobs, more than 3 million jobs.
Recently, some of the news media are reporting about the new jobs being created in the construction industry.
However, you have to make the ultimate decision – Can I come to the US to study for a master’s degree during an economic recession? My suggestion is this — If you attend a graduate school during recession and when the job market turns around, you will be in a better position to find a job.
Above all, to study in the US is a once in a lifetime experience/opportunity. Of the millions of students who graduate, you are now presented with a chance of your lifetime.
To know the value of a US education, you got experience it first-hand. So why waste that opportunity? Can you say what could happen 1-2 years from now?
No, we cannot predict the future, but when there is a chance in front of me, I would go for it. It’s always better to utilize the opportunity at hand.
Successful people utilize each golden opportunity to their advantage. Such opportunities are rare to come in one’s life.
Rare opportunity comes once is a while, but the willingness to take risks to prepare yourself to have a better chance would separate the successful from unsuccessful.
You can say that I’m an optimistic person. The worst case if you don’t take the risk, you might just end up spending money meant for your education.
If you happen to get some form of aid, then your U.S. education is almost free. If the economy doesn’t recover soon, then you will be left with a degree from a US university.
If not, you will still have a master’s degree and have spent your money. You can try for jobs in Canada, Australia, Singapore and so many other options.
But everything has almost equal probabilities and you have to weigh money vs. education. Any day, I will select education over money.
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Do write your thoughts and comments and of course your final decision — Did you decide to come to US — Yes or No?