Why do Indians prefer a MS in the U.S. than a MS in Germany?

The trend of Indians preferring U.S to Germany is definitely changing now, albeit slowly. To answer some of your questions:

1. Do companies prefer US candidates than Germans?
NO. Ultimately, you are going to be an Indian student on a temporary visa, irrespective of whether it is Germany or the U.S. However, companies in US would prefer students from US universities while companies in Germany prefer students from Germany or the EU (which is quite natural due to the fact that most companies don’t want to sponsor visas unless you’ve proved your worth to them and studying in a country gives you a chance to work in the same country on a temporary visa for a limited time). This is where the US marginally scores over Germany. There are a large number of companies based in the US, and an equally larger number of start-ups popping up every other day. More companies, more opportunities. However, Indian students often tend to overlook the competition in US. There are a lot more Indian students competing for a limited number of vacancies in the US when compared to Germany.
Also, the number of educational institutions in the US is very high. Though Germany has high-standard research universities, the number is relatively small. A look at the top 500 ranked programs in the world would give you a clearer idea.

2. Do we have a language barrier?
Definitely YES. I personally know a lot of people who haven’t applied to Germany simply because they couldn’t learn a new language.

3. Is education standard lower in Germany?
NO. Au contraire, some programs in Germany are very extracting and a lot of Indian students opt out of them due to fear of whether they’ll be able to make it.

4. Is it a show-off of pursuing MS in US?
That would depend on your definition of show-off, though securing a MS from prestigious institutions in Germany would qualify as much as a “show-off” as one from the US.

Why then do Indians prefer the US?

1. Cost of living: Although most universities in Germany pay tuition, the cost of living is very high.

2. Relative number of opportunities: This is slightly skewed when it comes to mechanical engineering. There are a lot more opportunities in the US when you look at fields like computer engineering or electronics. For mechanical, I would say Germany has as much opportunities as the US (I might be wrong about this).

3. To a certain extent, the crowd mentality: A lot more Indian students go to the US every year than Germany. People have more friends in the US and thus more people tend to go to the US. This may seem very superficial or trivial but it plays a major role in the sub-conscious of a lot of students when they choose their career path.

4. Future prospects: Wrt settling down in a new country, US is far more preferred by Indians (explaining why would take a separate thread by itself). A lot of Indians go for MS keeping in mind that they would like to be in the same country for around 8-10 years or even settle there. This, to me, is one of the reasons a lot of Indians want to go to the US.

Author: Manu Prasad

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