US vs UK vs North Europe, careers and education

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by OJKD, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. OJKD

    OJKD Active Member

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    Not trying to start a flame war. I am just interested in the facts. Currently studying BA. Planning to take my third year(European batchelor degrees are tree years) abroad, not sure where yet. Also planning on taking my masters degree abroad. Doing good, acing most classes so far, so I am hoping to be able to pick whatever schools I´d like. Having looked around in the threads here, it seems like those who have a MA and work in the US are getting $25/hr. How does this compare to UK?

    I`d really like to leave this frozen hellhole (yes, I live in Norway). On the other hand, with a MA-degree I am looking at $90 000/yr without any long days, just plain and simple 8-4. Of course, living costs here are much higher, but still. That´s the situation career wise at least.

    On the matter of education, I am just as uncertain as to what I should do. Planning on majoring in something finance-related (VC, PE, IB, CR)

    At the moment, I am studying at a UC, it is however the best in it´s field, industrial economics. There is now a shortlist for plans.

    3. yr:

    UC Berkely
    Penn State Hazelton
    Uni. of Durham

    MA:
    St. Gallen
    CASS
    LBS
    Not sure about the US schools yet.

    Any advise will be greatly appreciated. I am sure I will like it regardless of where I end up, but if US means 100 hr weeks with a shitty salary, and staying means 40 h weeks and a decent salary, I´ll survive the cold.
     
  2. why

    why Senior member

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    If you've never been to another place for an extended period of time it's difficult to be certain that it's better than where you are now. Also, a lot of place in the US are cold (some as cold as Norway, some not).

    It's really hard to say how much you'll earn in the US regardless of the degree. There are plenty of people with MAs that are barely paying rent.

    Also, just getting good grades doesn't mean you'll get into the schools you want, especially in the US.

    Does your university have exchange agreements with the US schools you listed?
     
  3. FLMountainMan

    FLMountainMan White Hispanic

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    Just to be clear......in Norway, with a MA degree, you can make $90,000 a year and only work 8-4 every day? Are you kidding me? Come here to check out America and get your schooling done, and then move the hell back to Norway.
     
  4. imschatz

    imschatz Senior member

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    This seems overly optimistic.

    I know several people in Norway, with Master's degree's (in Economics from an Average Canadian University - with an academic rating similar to Stockholm) .. all of which have thought of returning to Canada. One of which is a Norway first-nations (from way up north?) and she has some serious privileges in the work place.

    And you definitely won't earn $90k a year out of school here. Engineers here might make 6 figures out of school, but those are the guys who are headhunted during their 2nd year of Engineering undergrad. Everyone else is looking at maybe $50k a year starting (if you're lucky).
     
  5. OJKD

    OJKD Active Member

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    Yes, that is what I have been offered in the firms I´ve interned in.
    Thus the thread. I know some of places is the US are cold as well, but not nearly as many. Anyways, I´d like to live in a bigger city too. That excludes Norway.

    I am fairly certain I´ll get in in most schools. Served in the military, I have board-experience, teaching experience, 6 yrs in the Red Cross, 4 of those as squad-leader, and some experience as head of operations. I´ve also had internships.
     
  6. OJKD

    OJKD Active Member

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    Will be double post, but waiting for mods takes forever sometimes.

    @why: I am aware that it takes more than grades, but thanks for the heads up. I believe I am competent enough to get in, I do more than studying.

    @FLMountainMan: Yes, I´ve been offered $90 000 in one of the firms I´ve interned in.

    EDIT: Yes, my school has exchange programs with the listed schools.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2012
  7. imschatz

    imschatz Senior member

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    So .. Norway is a really expensive place to live. Way more expensive then I would have guessed.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purchasing_power_parity#OECD_comparative_price_levels

    A $90,000 USD salary in Norway, is comparable to $54,000 USD salary in the US (on average), and $71,000 salary in Canada.

    With one year experience I earn a wage comparable to that in Canada, with an MA in Economics.

    That is .. assuming you haven't already taken Purchasing Power into your $90k/year figure.
     
  8. FLMountainMan

    FLMountainMan White Hispanic

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    It's hard to keep up.
     
  9. OJKD

    OJKD Active Member

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    True that. No, I haven´t taken purchasing power into consideration. It seems like the salaries are slightly lower in US then. No biggie, I won´t take a job offer in the US unless it´s a good one, so for the sake of discussion, lets say they are the same. Are taxes taken into consideration here? With $90K salaries, you´re looking at 50% tax in Norway.

    I´ve heard that there is really long hours and poor labour-law. How do these compare? Working hrs is 37,5 hrs/week. Every hr more than this is usually +50% overtime, weekends is 100%. Max 300 hrs/yr.
     
  10. Medwed

    Medwed Senior member

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    Your math may be right on (if you factored US locl taxes and health insurance and cost of US education), but what about life? How willing are you to exchange your freedom for 10-20% increase in purchasing power?
    Please come to US and try to live there for a few years, you might change your opinion about Norway rather quickly. I have been there myself until I tried.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2012
  11. crispeta

    crispeta Well-Known Member

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    In your case, especially since you are an economist and probably know how do conduct research ;), I would not necessarily rely on an internet forum - especially when it comes to topics like work environment and salary. Perspectives will vary a lot from one person to another based on upbringing, experience, and background. I have lived and worked on several continents and can tell you that traveling (a lot) or studying a semester abroad does not provide a person with an international outlook.

    Your reasoning seems to be triggered by your being fed up with cold winter time, rather than a clear objective and structured argument. I would suggest that you go on vacation and try to study abroad as planned in your 3rd year. Then also create a more meaningful list of parameters than just work hours (that vary by job/employer/department) and salary. What about vacation days?. Social security? Job security? Social contacts - meaning of friendships (trust me, Americans have a very different "concept" compared to Europeans)? Etc.

    Side note: Wouldn't LSE be preferable over LBS for anything non-MBA?
    Out of the three 3rd-y options, definitely pick Berkeley from a brand standpoint.
     
  12. OJKD

    OJKD Active Member

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    Thank you for a smart reply. Cold winter time is just something scandinavians use as an excuse. It´s rather the wish for change. As you say, there are a lot of variables to take into consideration. Most people would benefit from staying in Norway, it is much easier to maintain a high living standard here. On the other hand, it is nearly impossible to get stinking-filthy rich in Norway. It does however, after some research (yes, other than internet-forums ;-)) seem like I would benefit the most from working a couple of years in Norway.

    Berkeley is my first choice as well. LSE might be as good as LBS, not sure. It is also a matter fees. Ivy-schools, such as Stanford, adds up to almost $200 000/yr for non-US citizens. That
     
  13. texas_jack

    texas_jack Senior member

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    Until you've lived in the US you don't know if you'd like it. Come here to go to college. We have great schools and you'll get an idea if you like it or not.
     
  14. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    Being American is about kicking ass. The numbers don't tell that story.
     
  15. dragon8

    dragon8 Senior member

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    I'm moving to Norway then....for the hours
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2012

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