"U.S. graduate programs in engineering, Science has learned, are seeing a sharp drop this year in the number of applications from international students."
Maybe you should read the article before commenting. These are graduate engineering programs. Candidates who attend these programs have solid math and science skills that were developed high school and 4 years of college before entering into a masters program. Foreign students are needed to fill the slots because Americans are not making the grades in math and science. That is a public school issue.
I recruit at a number of top CS/EECS programs (for my company). I see and talk to a lot of well qualified undergrad and grad students. Filling graduate engineering slots is, first and foremost, about accepting the best students - which includes both academics, and any prior research experience (ie, Summer internships, undergrad research projects, etc). Many of these foreign applicants attended schools/programs that, quite frankly, those at the US University know very little about, and certainly have no way to assess the quality of their education. If they were a foreign student who first went to a US undergraduate program in the US, then that is a different matter. altogether. The point being - most US Universities will give some preferential consideration to the US student, and that is especially true if the nature of their research relies on DoD funding (that is the largest % of funding sources). But the fact of the matter is, and as long as the economy is strong, more and more American students elect not to go to grad school for the simple fact - they can get a good paying job (eg, $80K-$110K) with only a BS in EE or CS. Furthermore, more and more employers (I am one) would rather higher a freshly minted student with a BS degree, and train them on things important to the work he/she is hired for. Getting a Masters is really a waste of time for many high tech employers. It amounts to nothing more than maybe 6 more courses, of which some of them will have no relevance to the job.
American students are opting out of grad school not so much because of grades, but because they can start right now, with a good salary, so that they can get on with the rest of their life. Yes, a person with a Master's degree might come in with a slightly higher salary, but, they are also out 2 years of salary plus any bonuses or stock options that happen during those two years. Furthermore, the 2 years of direct work experience (compared to 2 years of grad school for a masters), puts that employee (with raises, etc) on par, or maybe even ahead, of the new Master's hire.
Follow the $$
Edited by SmarterThanYou, 17 February 2017 - 01:06 PM.