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Moving from the United Kingdom to the United States

Moving from the United Kingdom to the United States

Old Aug 26th 2016, 4:27 pm
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Post Moving from the United Kingdom to the United States

I was kindly informed by a user on Reddit that I should also ask this question here:

I'm reaching that age where you've got to start thinking about what you want to do with your life, nearing the end of high school, and I am becoming increasingly disillusioned with life in the United Kingdom. I am really passionate about computers and am starting to study C#, I would like to be a Software Engineer at a large company but am wondering which country is optimal.

I'm looking for a good work/life balance, and I presume (I might be ignorant) that this immediately removes South Korea/Japan from any consideration? I have however considered the United States and Canada. Canada, I believe, does not have as high wages as the United States does but I believe that Canada has a higher standard of living than in the United States. The multicultural orientated society is quite attractive to me. Honestly, just living in the big city and having a job in Software Engineering (Although I am open to other jobs relating to computers) seems like an amazing lifestyle, I would be grateful if anybody could point out a country/city they think would be good and I will go and research it more.

And now on to my final question, I hope that nothing in this post is considered naive or entitled, I really do not want to study in the United Kingdom in a university; I'm beginning to be resigned to the fact that I am going to have to and I appreciate that there is a student loans system however the idea of paying so much money to study at university seems preposterous to me but this seems to be the only option. Are degrees in Computer Science legitimate in other countries? Would a degree in Computer Science be valued much in other countries?

Thanks, I have a lot of questions and I hope that nothing I have said could be considered entitled or naive.

E1: Just to provide more information I will add that I have no criminal convictions and English is indeed my native language. I am always open to learning another language if learning it can be justified.

By reading through the messages on Reddit and doing some individual research I came to the conclusion that I would like to do Software Engineering in a major city in the United States. Now my issue comes down to what city to pick and where to study. Studying, as outlined in the original message, is not preferable in the United Kingdom although I could study in the ROI with dual citizenship (This also leaves the European Union open as a viable option, doesn't it?). I'm curious to know what this forum would recommend about studying, should I stay in the United Kingdom; get an education and a job here and then eventually save up enough to move to the United States?

Edit: I don't think studying in the United States/Canada is an option.

Last edited by Justgoingtoaskadvice; Aug 26th 2016 at 4:35 pm.
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Old Aug 26th 2016, 4:32 pm
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Default Re: Moving from the United Kingdom to the United States

Hi and welcome to BE!

I'm not going to write a long a detailed reply, sorry. However, if the idea of "paying so much money to study at university seems preposterous", then you really don't want to study in the US.
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Old Aug 26th 2016, 4:34 pm
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Default Re: Moving from the United Kingdom to the United States

Studying in the US as an international student would be in the range of $40-50k a year, up front, and bachelor's degrees are typically four years rather than three. Do you have access to that sort of money?
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Old Aug 26th 2016, 4:34 pm
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Default Re: Moving from the United Kingdom to the United States

Originally Posted by Owen778 View Post
Hi and welcome to BE!

I'm not going to write a long a detailed reply, sorry. However, if the idea of "paying so much money to study at university seems preposterous", then you really don't want to study in the US.
Haha, yes. I was just wondering where it would be best to study, to me the European Union seems the best bet but I don't really understand which country would be better. I don't think I would have enough time to learn any language just to study in the country. I have heard that a lot of EU states actually teach in English.



In reference to Kodokan, no I don't really have access to that much money.
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Old Aug 26th 2016, 4:41 pm
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Default Re: Moving from the United Kingdom to the United States

Originally Posted by Justgoingtoaskadvice View Post
Haha, yes. I was just wondering where it would be best to study, to me the European Union seems the best bet but I don't really understand which country would be better. I don't think I would have enough time to learn any language just to study in the country. I have heard that a lot of EU states actually teach in English.

In reference to Kodokan, no I don't really have access to that much money.
There are quite a few EU universities that offer undergrad courses in English. I know of several in the Netherlands - Maastricht, Groningen - and Lund in Sweden. I'm sure there must be others, if you do a search. The fees are usually stunningly low.
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Old Aug 26th 2016, 4:43 pm
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Default Re: Moving from the United Kingdom to the United States

Originally Posted by kodokan View Post
There are quite a few EU universities that offer undergrad courses in English. I know of several in the Netherlands - Maastricht, Groningen - and Lund in Sweden. I'm sure there must be others, if you do a search. The fees are usually stunningly low.
I'll have a look into this, thanks, do you think it is reasonable to move straight over to an EU state after completing college? I don't have any idea of how much it would cost financially.
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Old Aug 26th 2016, 4:50 pm
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Default Re: Moving from the United Kingdom to the United States

Originally Posted by Justgoingtoaskadvice View Post
I'll have a look into this, thanks, do you think it is reasonable to move straight over to an EU state after completing college? I don't have any idea of how much it would cost financially.
Probably a question for the Europe board; they'll have a much better idea over there.
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Old Aug 26th 2016, 5:08 pm
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Default Re: Moving from the United Kingdom to the United States

Originally Posted by kodokan View Post
Probably a question for the Europe board; they'll have a much better idea over there.
Of course, thanks!
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Old Aug 26th 2016, 5:19 pm
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Default Re: Moving from the United Kingdom to the United States

Firstly, welcome to BE.

Originally Posted by Justgoingtoaskadvice View Post
I'm reaching that age where you've got to start thinking about what you want to do with your life, nearing the end of high school, and I am becoming increasingly disillusioned with life in the United Kingdom.
The grass isn't always greener. The United Kingdom is a fine country with a good amount of companies, both large and small in the IT field and decent universities for CS.

Originally Posted by Justgoingtoaskadvice View Post
I am really passionate about computers and am starting to study C#, I would like to be a Software Engineer at a large company but am wondering which country is optimal.
Large companies are great for some things, terrible for others. I always recommend people joining the industry to start at a smaller software houses / agencies and learn a lot more general skills - e.g. project scoping, development, testing and maintenance, because a lot of the time there are no project managers, business analysts or testers.

Some people stick there, others move to a larger company and specialize much more. I've found that people who took this path are much more rounded and I'd be more inclined to hire from this background for a junior/mid level engineer (I am a hiring manager / lead engineer at a well known online gaming company).


Originally Posted by Justgoingtoaskadvice View Post
I'm looking for a good work/life balance.
This is also dependent on the company's culture. Some companies in this industry will watch employees that clock out after doing the minimum hours. You can find out about companies like this on glassdoor.


Originally Posted by Justgoingtoaskadvice View Post
And now on to my final question, I hope that nothing in this post is considered naive or entitled, I really do not want to study in the United Kingdom in a university; I'm beginning to be resigned to the fact that I am going to have to and I appreciate that there is a student loans system however the idea of paying so much money to study at university seems preposterous to me but this seems to be the only option. Are degrees in Computer Science legitimate in other countries? Would a degree in Computer Science be valued much in other countries?
If there is a degree requirement for a software engineering job then usually CS is at the top of the list. I know some engineers who have maths degrees, but the majority are CS. Some have no degrees - including some of the most successful ones I know.

Studying in the US will rinse you/your parents dry if it can be afforded at all. It ain't cheap.

There are plenty of opportunities for this in the UK - including apprenticeships and intern programs. Where are you located in the UK?
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Old Aug 26th 2016, 5:21 pm
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Default Re: Moving from the United Kingdom to the United States

Originally Posted by tom169 View Post
Firstly, welcome to BE.



The grass isn't always greener. The United Kingdom is a fine country with a good amount of companies, both large and small in the IT field and decent universities for CS.



Large companies are great for some things, terrible for others. I always recommend people joining the industry to start at a smaller software houses / agencies and learn a lot more general skills - e.g. project scoping, development, testing and maintenance, because a lot of the time there are no project managers, business analysts or testers.

Some people stick there, others move to a larger company and specialize much more. I've found that people who took this path are much more rounded and I'd be more inclined to hire from this background for a junior/mid level engineer (I am a hiring manager / lead engineer at a well known online gaming company).




This is also dependent on the company's culture. Some companies in this industry will watch employees that clock out after doing the minimum hours. You can find out about companies like this on glassdoor.




If there is a degree requirement for a software engineering job then usually CS is at the top of the list. I know some engineers who have maths degrees, but the majority are CS. Some have no degrees - including some of the most successful ones I know.

Studying in the US will rinse you/your parents dry if it can be afforded at all. It ain't cheap.

There are plenty of opportunities for this in the UK - including apprenticeships and intern programs. Where are you located in the UK?
I don't feel comfortable going into details about where I am located but I'll just say that It is going to be very difficult for me to commute into any big city and there are no tech hubs nearby. I've read online that salaries are quite low for Software Engineers in the UK, is this true?
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Old Aug 26th 2016, 5:30 pm
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Default Re: Moving from the United Kingdom to the United States

Originally Posted by Justgoingtoaskadvice View Post
I don't feel comfortable going into details about where I am located but I'll just say that It is going to be very difficult for me to commute into any big city and there are no tech hubs nearby. I've read online that salaries are quite low for Software Engineers in the UK, is this true?
Okay, that's a shame about not being close to a tech hub now. In the north Leeds is a good city for tech, in the south I'd go for London.

If you're just finishing high school then you should get your A levels out of the way first anyway and revisit this at 18 (unless you were referring to US high school leaving age?). Get a Maths A level and a science subject too.

As for salaries, these are dependent on the company. There is a shortage of good engineers and so companies are willing to go out of their way in salaries and fringe benefits.

In pounds, probably around the following would be the average i've seen: Junior £15-25k, Mid £25-35k, Senior £35-45k, Lead/Principal £45-60k, and so forth. And then it would be expected that a bonus scheme, pension, profit share is on top of that.

Want more cash? Allow that work/life balance to swing more to work and make your self irreplaceable.
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Old Aug 26th 2016, 5:35 pm
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Default Re: Moving from the United Kingdom to the United States

My advice is to make "moving to the USA" a 5 to 10 year goal/program. I don't know where the best location would be to get your higher education, but once you figure that out, go for it and get at least a bachelor's degree. Then find employment with an international company that has a presence in the USA and work your way up to getting transferred over.

Rene
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Old Aug 26th 2016, 5:37 pm
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Default Re: Moving from the United Kingdom to the United States

Originally Posted by Noorah101 View Post
My advice is to make "moving to the USA" a 5 to 10 year goal/program. I don't know where the best location would be to get your higher education, but once you figure that out, go for it and get at least a bachelor's degree. Then find employment with an international company that has a presence in the USA and work your way up to getting transferred over.

Rene
I think this is definitely achievable as a 10 year goal if you also work up into management and can transfer on those visas. Not unheard of in this industry at all.
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Old Aug 26th 2016, 5:39 pm
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Default Re: Moving from the United Kingdom to the United States

Originally Posted by tom169 View Post
Okay, that's a shame about not being close to a tech hub now. In the north Leeds is a good city for tech, in the south I'd go for London.

If you're just finishing high school then you should get your A levels out of the way first anyway and revisit this at 18 (unless you were referring to US high school leaving age?). Get a Maths A level and a science subject too.

As for salaries, these are dependent on the company. There is a shortage of good engineers and so companies are willing to go out of their way in salaries and fringe benefits.

In pounds, probably around the following would be the average I've seen: Junior £15-25k, Mid £25-35k, Senior £35-45k, Lead/Principal £45-60k, and so forth. And then it would be expected that a bonus scheme, pension, profit share is on top of that.

Want more cash? Allow that work/life balance to swing more to work and make your self irreplaceable.
There is a lot of good points here, thanks. I can understand recommending maths as an A-level but why would you suggest science?
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Old Aug 26th 2016, 5:40 pm
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Default Re: Moving from the United Kingdom to the United States

Originally Posted by Justgoingtoaskadvice View Post
There is a lot of good points here, thanks. I can understand recommending maths as an A-level but why would you suggest science?
I was thinking of it as being more of a pre-req for a CS degree
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