Immigrant graduates earn more than US-born peers: Study

by IANS |

New York, Dec 27 (IANS) Immigrant graduates in the US, including Indians, are more likely to be better educated and earn more compared to their American-born peers with college degrees, says a study by the Washington-based Migration Policy Institute (MPI).

College-educated immigrants in the US are more likely to have advanced degrees and major in STEM and health fields than their US-born peers with college degrees.

The study found that 60 per cent of immigrant college graduates have at least a master's degree versus 53 per cent of the college-educated US-born.

Fifty-one per cent of immigrants' degrees are concentrated in the high-demand STEM and health fields versus a mere 36 per cent in those held by the US-born.

Furthermore, two-thirds of immigrants in the PIAAC (Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies) sample earned their highest degree in the US.

It is precisely due to this reason that the average monthly earnings of immigrant college graduates exceed those of US-born graduates.

Full-time, college-educated immigrant workers have higher monthly earnings of $7,140 compared to their US-born counterparts at $6,500.

However, despite these largely favourable outcomes, one-fifth of immigrant college graduates see their skills underutilised, said the study targeting the 25-65 age group.

MPI estimated that about two million college-educated immigrants in the US worked in jobs that required no more than a high school degree or were unemployed as of 2019.

This outcome is a result of lower levels of English proficiency, licensing barriers, limited social and professional networks, and other issues.

The study added that immigrants' literacy, numeracy, and digital skills are also likely to play a role.

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