5 Reasons Why I Wouldn’t Send my Son to Study Undergraduate Degree in USA

Would you send your son or daughter to study Undergraduate degree in USA?

That’s the dilemma, this parent is having with his son.

I was having this discussion with a parent and following was his response.

I have an opportunity, should I send him to US for undergrad Mechanical Engineering course or not?

According to me Here are the pros and cons of sending my son to study undergraduate degree in USA.

study undergraduate degree in usa

via Flickr

Pros :  Studying Undergraduate in USA

  1. Much better facilities and infrastructure than IIT’s or similar Indian Institutes
  2. Studies in IIT are overwhelming and a lot competitive and strenuous as compared to US.
  3. Theory backed with good amount of lab experience.
  4. Opportunity to work on live projects under Professors.
  5. Opportunity to network with industry user Co-Op programs.
  6. Chance to study in top universities in the world.
  7. Chance to study from highly experienced faculty.
  8. Good exposure to international culture which is important in today’s global economy.
  9. Learn and appreciate to work in diverse teams which will be helpful in employment.
  10. In Undergraduate degree they will get more time at young age to acclimatize with the new culture
  11. Good networking opportunities with fellow students.
  12. Can spend good 10 years in US, gain education and experience and then can come back at age of 28/29 which is good age to for a start-up in India.

Cons :  Studying Undergraduate in USA

  1. May not handle the culture shock at young/immature age.
  2. May get burnt up early and may not pursue further studies in US.
  3. Very costly compared to IIT’s or similar Indian colleges.
  4. Will have stay too far from family for a long time.
  5. Could get “americanized” and forget Indian culture and values.

That’s a wonderful analysis. Right?

I’m glad someone did this.

First I have to appreciate him for do such analysis.

Second, each and every parent who is sending their son or daughter to USA, goes through this tough decision-making process.

Here’s a problem with the above analysis :

See how the there is a career plan for his son from Undergraduate degree in USA, working in USA for 10 years, then coming back to India to start a company.

I haven’t seen anything that talks about this son’s interest.

  • The Good : Parents actively involving in kids education and career
  • The Bad : I can see only the parents’ dream in this journey
  • The Ugly : I don’t see anything about kid’s interest towards education, field or career.

Parents should stop assuming about what their kids want to study and assist them then forcing them.

Give them exposure to all the possible fields. Be it art, sports, science, math, commerce, etc.

Again, I’m having this argument based on the what I read in the above conversation.

Remember this?

engineers in india

With so many Engineering Colleges in India, it’s bounds to happen.

Plus, I have seen parents who wanted their son or daughter to study Electrical Engineering, but expecting campus placement job in Software company as a software developer?

Why would someone do that?

If in case the IT job market goes down, they can find a job in Electrical Engineering Field.

I’m completely against that approach. If you want to become a software engineer, then get degree to become a software engineer?

If you are having a hear surgery, would you want a Heart Surgeon with some 10 years of education and several years of experience to do the surgery or someone who wend to Dental school but took 3 months courses about heart surgery?

Summary :

All the pros and cons you have listed is great.

I would strongly recommend sending your son to USA for undergraduate degree.

I’m sure he’s going to have a blast here from education, experience, network and develop skills to build a start-up. He come even end-up starting a company here in USA.

Watch the video interviews I did with students here in USA. You can see how they are surviving here and how they adapted.

It’s easy to survive here. I understand your concern as a parents, but you have let your son go free to explore the world.

You will be glad you made the decision to send you son to USA after few years.

8 Comments

  1. rajiv ranjan on June 5, 2014 at 11:05 AM

    Pure advertisement and marketing of US , author misses out the real essence of US and it’s qualities . US is a nation that teaches secularism , equality in race , scientific thinking and love for development , so Americanization is better than Indianizations. Love US culture , so love the education of US.

  2. srikant verma on June 5, 2014 at 11:02 AM

    Actually none of the points is serious , IITs are good colleges but only thing is Indians students don’t do logical reasoning , no Indians book/Teacher/School/Parent ever teach students to think on their own. I have never seen any topper or MS guy standing on his own views before the rest of world possibly still Indians have not become independent in their views. The only reason I am going to US is for this , to develop ability to think independently for development of world , nation and people. I this is most quality needed by Indians rather than start ups / Degrees. Indian way of educating people is bad as it involves only mugging without practical visualization. Indians don’t questions anything , just keep mugging !

  3. Masoom Rana on May 18, 2014 at 1:28 AM

    “Americanized” is better than “Indianized”. Atleast the former teaches you to be secular and treat people from other caste, religion, sexuality with respect.

    • sparsh yadav on June 5, 2014 at 10:52 AM

      yes , Americans show us how to live in equality and have to reason out things rather than chanting or dividing people .This is main reason I want to go US because it is country that love all castes , religion and color. Indians will become more matured if they get Americanised.

  4. Sathya on May 15, 2014 at 5:06 AM

    Thanks Ragu for posting such a good article. All the analysis done on pros and cons do apply for students who are going for a Master’s degree too ( with a thin hair difference). I thank Anon Techie for writing a detailed comment with awesome points that prospective students should be aware of. I would like to add few points from my own experience. I am a prospective student too 🙂 Currently i am working in a Chip designing Company in Bangalore.

    1) As Anon Techie pointed out grad students do fail to build professional network. For example Consider LinkedIn . Many students even in final year in B.E here in India have no idea what it is.If you are not going to expand your professional network but blame telling the industry is down is complete foolish thing to think.
    2) Indian colleges mostly don’t teach you what professionalism is. I am not trying to blame that Indian education system is bad or something like that. but being in corporate world in India i see different things daily.Many don’t know how to write a professional emails dealing with clients.But they are professional engineers out of College with First class degree. i would prefer doing under graduation in USA.
    3) Talking about “American Culture”. Each and every individual is unique. Every culture has its own pros and cons. I would never accept a statement that Indian culture has more pros than American Culture.Indian Culture teaches us to be together as a Family. American Culture teaches how to be a unique individual. That’s the primary difference i feel. Filter out the bad things take good things from American culture. American Culture will make to stay strong as Independent Person with Broader Mind set.
    4) When your thinking process changes (becomes broader) this improves your intellectual level to a great extent. Instead of just sticking to right and wrong you try to find and evaluate truth. USA Education emphasis more on Critical thinking and Creativity which brings out things in yourself which you have never thought it existed in you. All the best for Everyone. Thanks to Ragu for creating such a wonderful source of information and experiences.

    • Raghuram Sukumar on May 15, 2014 at 7:34 AM

      I was actually talking about lack of communication skills yesterday evening with someone. You have listed valid and thoughtful points.

  5. Raghuram Sukumar on April 30, 2014 at 1:59 PM

    Awesome. Thanks for commenting here.

    Lots of engineering colleges in India educate students just to get students placed in campus (99% placement rate or some numbers), which in turn can be used to increase the fees for admission.

    • Anon Techie on April 30, 2014 at 2:08 PM

      its not the only reason they can increase fees.

      Main reason is that the education system in India suffers from an invisible License Raj. Unless you are politically connected, you cannot open an education institution, no matter how rich you are. This artificial scarcity also helps in the divide and rule strategy, of giving quotas to certain people.

      Quotas are not bad per se, but all it does as of now, is to divide the population into pro and anti quota students. No one talks about increasing the quality supply of education institutions.

      Unless the next government breaks this invisible License Raj in the education system, undergrad colleges are not going to the the places of learning.

      Compared to Indian education system, there’s at least a chance to learn something in US, and a good chance of getting some kind of assistantship during the later years in the college.

      if you look at RoI over ten years, I’d say US Undergrad degree will beat Indian degree hands down.

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