United States of America [USA]

The U.S. is a country of 50 states covering a vast swath of North America, with Alaska in the northwest and Hawaii extending the nation’s presence into the Pacific Ocean. Major Atlantic Coast cities are New York, a global finance and culture center, and capital Washington, DC. Midwestern metropolis Chicago is known for influential architecture and on the west coast, Los Angeles' Hollywood is famed for filmmaking.

  • President:Donald Trump
  • Capital:Washington, D.C.
  • Dialing code:+1
  • Population: 32.57 crores (2017)

The American Education

American education can be divided into elementary, secondary and higher education. Elementary and secondary education is given for a period of eight years at elementary school and middle school followed by four years in high school. After this the students appear for their ACT (American College Test) / SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test). The scores in the SAT / ACT determine which college one goes to when they are usually 17 or 18 years old.

After this students pursue their bachelor's degree at colleges or universities (undergraduate schools) usually for a period of four years. The undergraduate degrees are divided into two categories, arts and science. The former is mainly for humanities and social science and the latter, for natural science. There is no steam as commerce but you can pursue a bachelor's program in Business Administration.

They can then enroll for Graduate schools which have mainly two levels, masters and doctoral, which takes 1-2 years for the former, and 3-5 years for the latter.

American elementary and secondary education is free except private schools. However, higher education is very expensive, including public ones.

Types of Universities and Colleges

Higher education can be pursued in two-year colleges, four-year colleges and universities with masters and doctorate programs.

Two-year colleges are called community colleges or junior year colleges. Here you can pursue the first two years of your undergraduate program. Tuition fees here are usually lower than that of four-year colleges making it a less expensive proposition.

You can also enroll in four-year colleges, which do not have graduate schools i.e. they have a bachelor's program but do not offer a master's or doctorate program. They are usually small and have few departments. However the ratio of professors and students is very less; in the range of 1: 9-12. Most of these colleges are privately run and are very expensive.

Then there are the large universities. Most of them have the masters and doctorate programs in addition to the bachelor's program program. These universities are usually supported by the state financially. They are less expensive for residents and more expensive for non-residents, since the parents of the former are paying tax and support them indirectly.

There are also private universities, and some well known ones include Harvard University, Yale University, Princeton University, and Stanford University. The tuition of private universities is very high, for Americans and non-Americans alike, but majority of students get scholarships or some sort of financial aid to cover majority parts of the tuition. Usually students at these institutions work while they study to pay for their education. However international students are prohibited to work off-campus during the first year and have to seek employment strictly on campus.


American colleges start in August or September and end in the following May or June. Each academic year is divided in two semester the spring semester and the fall semester or three quarters. One semester lasts 15 weeks, and one quarter 10 weeks.

Students can also opt to take classes in summer school i.e. during the spring break. If you do this, it may be possible to complete a four-year course in three years or even less.


This is the currency by which you are valued. As a rule, one credit represents one hour (50 minutes) of class time a week for one term, except in the cases of language or laboratory courses, where one credit equals up to two hours per week.

Normally, 60 credits are required for associate degrees (junior college), 120 for bachelor's degree (four year college), 30 graduate credits for master's degrees and 90 graduate credits for doctoral degrees.

For undergraduate studies, international students have to be full time students, and they have to take the minimum of 9 or 12 credits a week. That is, they have to attend classes for 9 or 12 hours a week.

Generally, a Bachelor of Science degree, for example, requires morecredits in the area of the student's major than a Bachelor of Arts degree does. Most art degrees require only 24-30 credits in the major fields. So it is possible to have two majors like French and Spanish

It is also possible to transfer credits from one institution to another. Most colleges require one-year residency. This means that even if you have spent just one year of your total academic life in a particular college, you will get your degree from that college provided you obtain the requisite number of credits.


Grades are given if students enroll any class whether they finish them or not. The grades are as follows:

  • A (4.0) - very good (90% and above)
  • B (3.0) - good (80-90%)
  • C (2.0) - all right (70-80%)
  • D (1.0) - poor (60-70%)
  • F (0) - failure (below 60 %)
  • Some colleges may also give the middle score such as 3.5, and 2.5.

Tuition & Living Expenses

US Universities fall have two major categories - public (state supported), and private (independent) institutions.

Public Schools are inexpensive compared to Private ones. Please note that the cost of a program in a US school does not necessarily affect its quality. Tuition expenses at state schools are based on nonresident costs for International students.

The tuition fee is different for different universities and varies widely with courses. It can vary from as low as $ 5000 a year for state universities to as much as $ 30000 per annum for some private universities.

  • University Type
  • Private Institutions
  • State Institutions
  • Average Tuition Fees (annual in U.S. Dollars)
  • $15000 - $ 25,000
  • $10000 - $20000

Living costs can differ as per each individual’s lifestyle. A rough indication can be as such

  • Rent
  • Groceries
  • Phone
  • Sundry
  • $400 to $1000
  • $100
  • $100
  • $100

In conclusion

The United States has over 3,600 universities, colleges and community colleges. Whatever your academic ability, you should be able to find a school that meets your needs.

  • Intake
  • Spring
  • Fall:
  • Summer:
  • Winter:
  • Period
  • January/February
  • August/September
  • April/May
  • December

Post-Study Work Opportunities in USA

The US is by far the most popular study abroad destination for the international, as well as Indian students. The policies by Donald Trump and few recent hate crimes have made the parents and students worried.

Now coming to the working opportunities in the US after studies, international students are unlikely to get affected significantly due to the revised immigration policies. International students can stay and work in the US, for a total of 12 months (24 months for STEM graduates) after completing their degree. It is highly unlikely that changes in the immigration laws will impact the development, and the education policy surrounding it. Once your OPT expires, you ultimately will have to apply for H1B visa, which as per President Trump is a route to take entry-level IT jobs from Americans, and in favor of the relatively cheap workforce from overseas.

More importantly, the H-1B visa used to work on a lottery system. This is actually bad for deserving candidates.

The 20 most in-demand jobs

  • 20. Software Engineer
  • 19. Technical Project Manager
  • 18. Hardware Engineer
  • 17. Software Engineering Manager
  • 16. Design Manager
  • 15. Financial Planning and Analysis Manager
  • 14. Product Manager
  • 13. Product Marketing Manager
  • 12. Technology Manager
  • 11. Management Consultant
  • 10. Patent Attorney
  • 9. Engineering Manager
  • 8. Medical Science Liaison
  • 7. Finance Manager
  • 6. Procurement Manager
  • 5. Pharmacist
  • 4. Supply Chain Manager
  • 3. Data Scientist
  • 2. IT Manager
  • 1. Creative Manager
  • Median Base Salary: $100,00
  • Median Base Salary: $100,000
  • Median Base Salary: $110,000
  • Median Base Salary: $150,000
  • Median Base Salary: $108,500
  • Median Base Salary: $115,000
  • Median Base Salary: $110,00
  • Median Base Salary: $116,000
  • Median Base Salary: $140,000
  • Median Base Salary: $110,000
  • Median Base Salary: $150,000
  • Median Base Salary: $145,000
  • Median Base Salary: $140,000
  • Median Base Salary: $118,000
  • Median Base Salary: $104,000
  • Median Base Salary: $120,000
  • Median Base Salary: $102,000
  • Median Base Salary: $110,000
  • Median Base Salary: $118,000
  • Median Base Salary: $112,00

H1B Visa Requirements / Qualification

You must have ONE of the following

  • 1) A Bachelor's degree or Masters Degree (or the foreign equivalent degree from your Country), OR
  • 2) 12 years work experience , OR
  • 3) A mix of further education + work experience

The general H1B visa qualification rule is:

  • - for every 1 year of studies at University / College = 3 points
  • - for every 1 year of work experience = 1 point

12 points in 'total' are required to qualify for the H1B visa program