Education is BIG business in the USA, and the USA is packed with Universities (colleges as they are termed in the US). Wikipedia quotes that there were almost 4600 universities in 2011 – far more than ANY other country in the world. Does that mean Americans are smarter or better educated than any other country in the world? No, of course not. There are many Universities outside of the US that are well respected and offer a good education. However, when it comes to a prospective employee being judged by an American hiring manager for an American corporation – they will obviously give preference or higher credibility to a University they know than foreign university degrees. That is just human nature.


So – you moved to the USA and have a degree from a foreign University – how will that education be judged? Well, there are many published rankings of Universities around the world such as this one – University rankings. If you achieved a degree from a highly rated foreign University then you will probably want to call that out on your “resume” (Curriculum Vitae) and your Linkedin profile (if you have one). For instance, let’s say you earned a degree from the “Australian National University” – you could note that on your resume saying “rated number 25 in the world ranking published by”. That would make a significant difference to how your resume is viewed. Why? Well Americans are well aware that Universities and programs are not all equal. They will be impressed by degrees from well known universities and that is exactly why the most prestigious colleges will be able to charge much higher tuition fees.


So – it is up to you to present information about your degree/university. Do a little homework and check where your institution is ranked. Of course, these rankings are often from a American or Western perspective – but that is the where your degree will be evaluated.

Incidentally, some jobs mention a degree as a minimum criteria. If you are applying for a job through a large company on their recruiting website, that question will often be a knock out question – meaning that if you cannot say you have a Bachelors degree, your application may not even be reviewed by a human. So, in that respect, your degree, wherever it was taken will open some doors, but the information above will apply if the interviewer wishes to make a judgment about the quality of your education. In my experience however, your ability to land the job is normally up to you when you are in front of the hiring manager.


Degree evaluations.

It is possible to get a third party to provide an education evaluation of your degree. Unless that is specifically required (such as in medicine or similar) I would not advise you to spend the money on that. The evaluation itself may not be considered credible, so it may not carry too much weight and in any case the quality of the education is not the whole story about you.

Professional credentials/licenses gained abroad.

It should come as no surprise that the USA is a heavily regulated place. There are lots of professions that you cannot practice without licensing in the USA (often at Federal AND State level). So – just because you are a doctor/dentist/lawyer or whatever abroad it does not mean that you can start work in that profession in the USA without some level of re-credentialing. This might involve exams, training or evaluation. Please make sure you look into that before you move to the USA so that you can gain a realistic idea of how you will start work in your chosen field.


 foreign university degrees