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What Are The Top Study Abroad Fields That Offer A High Return On Investment

Education abroad is a dream for many students, but a difficult decision when it comes to investing thousands of rupees. It would be wise to compare the ROI over the years to make sense of the decision. Here, we compare three study destinations for Indian students namely Canada, UK and Australia based on four parameters.

Parameters include average income before and after continuing the course, direct cost (tuition, living expenses), opportunity cost (professionals considering higher education after a few years of work sacrifice the amount of salary annual fee and experience) and the study loan. Cost.

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Here we select masters in computer science for easy comparison.


The return on investment in UK education has improved significantly since the announcement of the Graduate Immigration Route (GIR), which allows students to stay in the country for two years. The new points-based immigration system, launched after Brexit, has also led to a 43% increase in the number of Indians receiving skilled worker visas in 2021. Although the number of Indian students approved for the visa cannot be determined, the numbers look promising for Indian youth.

As for the investment required to study in the UK, the average cost of education for an Indian student is around Rs 30-35 lakhs for a postgraduate degree in computer science. In addition to this, living expenses, although largely dependent on the city, can range from Rs 1 to 1.5 lakhs for a month. The total investment to study in UK would be around Rs 40 lakhs, for which a student usually takes a study loan of Rs 32-35 lakhs. The student can expect to get an average salary of £26,351 to £41,454 (Rs 25 to 45 lakhs) after the course.

Assuming the student did not earn any money before pursuing a masters degree in the UK, the return on investment remains exponential in terms of salary, overall experience and growth over 3-6 years.

If the student earned a salary of Rs 5 lakhs per year in India, the return on investment would be higher for STEM degrees, which are in demand with salaries for even entry-level jobs starting at Rs 25 lakhs. The returns look promising even if the student is admitted to any university in the 250-500 bracket, as more than 143,000 jobs will be created in the STEM field by 2023.

If the student earned a salary of Rs 15 lakhs to 25 lakhs, the return on investment would be negative as the opportunity cost will be higher. The student will sacrifice the annual salary, work experience, and resulting salary increase over the two years they invest in pursuing the course. The rank of the university will not matter because after graduation, the student will only look for mid-level jobs.


Canada is one of the preferred study destinations for study abroad due to the longer post-study work visa and easy PR options. The maximum period of stay after a master’s degree in Canada is 3 years. The average tuition fee for a Masters in Computer Science is Rs 25 lakhs to 30 lakhs. Moreover, the annual cost of living is around Rs 8 lakhs. Students can expect the total expenses (study + living) to be around Rs 46 lakhs, of which students usually take a student loan of Rs 25-28 lakhs. The remaining expenses can be managed through part-time jobs, in which a student can work up to 40 hours per week and earn around 20 CAD per hour. The average basic salary after completion of the course is CAD 55,000 (Rs 33 lakhs).

Now to compare the ROI of education in Canada, if the student earns INR 5 lakhs in India, the ROI of the course will be positive and high, even if the student ends up studying in a university ranking of 251 to 500.

If the student earns up to Rs 15 lakhs in India, the return on investment will be positive and high if the student opts for a university ranking between 50 and 100, because the opportunity cost, investment and loan of studies would be lower than the average salary after graduation.

If the student earns up to Rs 25 lakhs in India, the return on investment will be negative as the opportunity cost for the student even from a top university would be extravagant.


The country recently opened its borders to international students after two years of strict COVID-19 protocols. Several provisions are being introduced to attract international students, including increased part-time working hours, visa fee discounts and new scholarship programs (Australian Maitri Scholarship Program). The period of stay for a postgraduate student is 2 years. The average annual cost for a Masters in Computer Science is AUD 38,000 (about Rs 23 lakhs). The total cost of education in Australia is Rs 65-70 lakhs including the annual living cost of around Rs 12 lakhs. To cover the cost of education in Australia, the student loan amount usually amounts to Rs 40 to 50 lakhs, where a student can manage the remaining expenses with a part-time job (40 hours fortnightly ) earning AUD 19 per hour. The average annual salary after MS in CS is Rs 30-35 lakhs.

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To compare the return on investment, if a student earning Rs 5 lakhs in India will get positive and high returns on his education investment in Australia if he gets a seat in the top 500 universities.

A student earning Rs 15-25 lakhs in India will not get any positive return on investment as the average salary after graduation will not offset the opportunity cost and EMIs of student loans.

The return on investment in education from each of these countries will depend on the current salary and growth prospects of the student in India. However, after analyzing each country’s return on investment for each salary bracket, Canada has a better return on investment for students. After comparing the investment in a master’s degree in various countries, the investment in education in Canada is relatively moderate, with similar starting salaries and a longer stay option.

— Written by Ankit Mehra, CEO and Founder, GyanDhan

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