Are you too old to Study in USA ? 10 Years of Experience, 35 Years age ?

In Decide MS - MBA in US by Kumar191 Comments

I have seen many of our readers ask questions in our Study in USA QA section regarding their decision to study in USA after 7 to 10 Years of work experience or at the age of 35 or 40 years.  Many of them could not pursue their dream of higher education at their early age due to various factors of family pressures, financial difficulties, no clarity, etc…now, they are wondering, if it is the right thing to study abroad like in USA. Many of them are unsure, how they will be received in the classes and will they be able to cope with their younger peers in the class.  This article focuses on shedding some light on the reality at Graduate schools in America and if it is the right age for you to study.

Average Age of Graduate Student ( MS or MBA) in United States – Distribution

As per the research by National Center for Education Statistics, the average age of graduate student is about 33 years. Also, the below table from the same report indicates the age distribution of a typical graduate student enrolment.  Key stat to look at is that about 50% of the graduate students are over 30 years of age.

 Average Graduate Student Age Distribution in USA

Are you too Old to go back to School and Study Masters ?

Looking at the above data, you can notice that over 22% of the students are over 40 years and about 28% of the students are between 30 and 40 years. Data speaks volumes…You do NOT need to worry that you are too old.  You are not old to go back to school. There are quite a few students in the same age group. In fact, when I did my MS and MBA, I have personally noticed the same. Many of my team mates were much older than me, it was fun to have all the experience folks in the class and my team as well.  You are NOT too old to go back to school ! You bring in a lot of value to the class and make it more engaging.

Pursue your dream of Higher Education  with Passion

When you are thinking about going back to school, you need to very clear on your goals.  As you are already quite experienced, most of the times, your degree may NOT be giving you the instant return as you would expect immediately, unless it is a requirement as part of the job.  If you always wanted to get higher education and experience the education system in America, it is totally fine, just go for it. Also, pursuing higher education with the goal to settle in America has to be considered with caution, with the H1B Lottery. Read Apply for MS with H1B Lottery .  Also, you do NOT have to pursue MS or MBA in your same field or area, you can change your major or specialization in MS.  If it was your dream to study Marketing but you somehow ended up in Computer Science in Bachelors, it is your chance to switch majors and pursue that dream.  Just plan it such that your education can help you make a career transition.

If you can afford the time with family commitments and have money to fund your education, it is an enriching experience to study in America.  There are so many great things about education in America, it is not about just the classes and research, it is about the activities that are part of the student life like Student Orgs , Student Leadership Activities, etc. that define the overall student life experience, … Many might question your decision as it may not be pragmatic, but what the heck? If it is your dream, go for it!  Many dream, only few dare to achieve it…Are you that one?

What do you think ?  Did you choose to go back to school after significant experience ? Share your perspective

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Comments ( 191 )

  1. russell singh

    hello sir
    i am 26 years old and i completed my graduation in may2015. I want to study adiploma course of 1 year in abroad in any country US, Canada or Australia. I worked in International BPO for few years but right now i am working under my father who is a lawyer as a free lancer since i completed my graduation. Can you suggest me which country will be suitable for me and whether i am eligible to go for further studies in this age.
    Regards
    Russell Singh

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      russell,
      You can definitely study, age is not an issue. We cannot really advise on other countries, as I do not have any experience studying there…US is definitely a good place to study…You need to your research on what you want want to study and find courses that can fit your requirement.

  2. Raminder kaur

    Hi sir
    My name is Raminder kaur,I have done nursing diploma(GNM) in 2006 and after that i started my carrier as a staff nurse.I have 8 years of experience in nursing.I have strong desire of study abroad,for which i tried 2-3 times,but failed.Now my age is 33 years. Kindly suggest me something .

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Raminder,
      Where do you see yourself working in Next 10 years ? This is something that requires time for you to think about what you like and what you are passionate about…Once you know what you want to do, then pick up education or job that will get you reach that goal. It is something you need to take time to think and decide…

  3. Kartik

    Dear Sir,

    I’m only 10th Passed, was not able to pursue +2. I’m already 25 years old now.
    Is it possible for me to study further abroad?

    Awaiting your reply.
    Thank You,

    kartik.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      kartik,
      You can…Usually, many get bachelors at home country and go to US for Masters…You can get bachelors degree and try, thats one option. Or you can apply for bachelors as well. Either case, you will need to complete you 11th and 12th.

  4. Gulzar

    Dear Sir,

    My son is 14 yrs of age and in few years once he is eligible, I would like him to pursue his under graduate studies from USA. My query is related to the scholarships/financial aid available for under graduate international students in USA – are full scholarships available if the child gets good SAT/ACT score?

    Thanks,
    Gulzar

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Gulzar,
      It totally varies by school and profile, yes it is possible to have full fee waiver…but, you will need to the research and see, if there is anything that you can find and if your son can fit for that requirements….

  5. Prabakar. r

    this is prabakar an MBA graduate holdiing a senior management position aged 49 years. Currently my daughter doing her school final and she will be entering UG next year. we are planning to put her graduation in US. Please let us know your opinion regarding this. Mail the details to my mail ID [email protected]

  6. Kiran

    Sir, I am Kiran. I have completed M.Sc. Organic Chemistry.And I am 35 years old. I have 9 years teaching experience. Is there any chance to do PhD. in USA? If there any chance, please say the process.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Kiran,
      You always have a chance. The process is very straightforward, you check the requirements and apply. You will probably need to take GRE and TOEFL. Also, the process can vary by school. I suggest you check with the school you plan to apply.

  7. Jaswinder Kaur

    Hi,

    I am Jaswinder Kaur. I had done my 10+2 in Commerce in 1995 and after that I come into job. I have 20 years of Experience in different job profiles such as Office Coordinator, Marketing Executive, Banking Advisor and Personal Assistant. But my strong desire is to do study in abroad. Is it possible at this stage? Can I really being able to do Bachelor’s from USA?

  8. Jaya

    Hello sir, I am 32 year old working as teacher in government school In India, single mother of a three year old kidBEDM to pursue PhD from one of the top 150 prominent institutes of USA.As I can not afford the fees.Would I be getting funding for this with GRE.Would I be able to take my child there if got admission… Sir please guide and how to go for it.I did BSC BED ,Masters in Public Administration,Masters in Political Science,been university topper and 6 years of teaching experience.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Jaya,
      It all depends on many factors like scores, school, degree, funding situation at school you apply, etc… If you get good scores and have your passion articulated well in application for your desire for PhD, you may get full funding. All your experience will really help, it is up to you, how you position your interest and passion for PhD. If you get full funding and stipend, then you may be able to cover expenses for your kid as well. If you are passionate, I suggest you take your time to plan it out well and go for it and then hope you get full funding…

  9. vipin

    Dear sir
    Myself vipin have completed BE and M Tech in electronics and I have total 9 years of work experience. My age is 34
    I am interested to do M S in USA through GRE
    I have taken Home loan of around 12 lacs. Can I get loan from bank again if i score good in GRe for MS in USA
    oR can I get any assistance in India as i belong to SC caste
    Is there any provision provided by Indian government
    Plz let me know

  10. Sandeep

    Hello Kumar,

    Thanks for such an informative article for GRE.
    I have done B.Tech in Computer Science and have an over all work exp of 4 years as a Software Engineer.
    I am planning for GRE but because of almost 11 hour work pressure it’s difficult to concentrate on my studies.
    I had a thought to quit my current job and study hard for 2 months to crack the exam with a good score and if score is less than what I expect, I would like reappear again in a month.
    I want to apply for universities as soon as possible.
    Will the decision to quit this job impact my application for universities.
    will there be a point where i need to explain the reason for a year gap.
    Waiting for your reply.
    Thanks and Regards,

  11. MAINAK MUKHERJEE

    Hello Kumar,
    This is Mainak from Kolkata.First of all thanking you for this wee equipped website for solving all relevant queries regarding pursuing MS and PhD in USA .
    I am currently studying B.Tech in civil engineering and done my diploma in 2012.I have worked with one of India’s leading Civil construction company for two years and now planning to study further.
    I am currently 26 and will get graduation in 2018 .
    My question to you is, am I too old to dream for higher studies and what are the career prospects in India after completing 5 to 6 years in USA (by that time my age will be 32).
    waiting for your reply.
    Thanks and regards,

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Mainak,
      You are not too old…that’s absolutely fine. The average age of PhD students and Graduate school students is actually more older than 32…Frankly, age should not be a bar…I had classmates in late 50s doing MS, think about your age vs that ? So, take it easy and pursue your passion.

  12. santosh hirve

    Dear, I st belated happy diwali and Sir I want guide from ur side that my age 38 yr completed and I have 10yrs experience in teaching field so any opportunities in abroad for works if yes then how can catch up and where please guide to me properly. Thx read my msg.

  13. rajshekar

    Hi Kumar,

    I am 29.I have done my M.Tech in CS . Also i have 3.7 years of IT experience. I am planning for a degree in US with the purpose of working over there after my course. Please suggest the course and the plan of action. Thanks

  14. Swapna Kiran Jajjuvarapu

    Hai,

    I am kiran 33 years old and a graduate in mechanical engineering (2005 passed out with 61% aggregate). I have an experience of 11 years in various Mechanical Projects and willing to do masters in Industrial Engineering. As i can see my self falling short of options for choosing universities, Can i know which country(Europian Countries) would be better for my masters.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Swapna,
      I wish I could answer, I am not familiar with European systems. US is definitely a good place to study for sure, if you pick the right school.

  15. krishan kumar

    I am 34 years Old. I was granted admission in Phd program at University of Texas Arlington for fall 2011 but visa was rejected. I have 8 years of teaching experience. I am looking forward for phd admission in same university and university is also interested in granted admission. Should I go for it. What are chances of visa this time.

    Please reply on email as well.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      krishan,
      Visa stamping is very tricky and hard to tell. We would not know for the most part why the visa was rejected, unless you know you made a mistake in the interview. All you can do is be positive and go for it. If you are passionate about it, go for it and hope it works out.

  16. Mayur Bhagia

    Dear Mr Kumar, nice article and comments, thanks for the insight. I am 37 years old and have 12 years IT experience working as Java Architect with PMP, TOGAF, Scrum Master and Amazon Cloud Architect. Can you suggest me some degree / courses in US which would help me get option of working in US other than H1B lottery.

  17. Navneet Sharma

    Hi,

    First of all Thanks a lot for doing great help! I am targeting Fall admission for MS in CS from USA as I found Fall admission has many advantages. One has to be ready with GRE score in October for Fall admission as universities start accepting application in Dec/ Jan.

    I need to start my preparation and it’s already October so if I have to target Fall – 2018. My questions are –

    1. Is it good to apply for Fall admission, I will need scholarship & internship ?
    2. In Aug 2018, I will be completing around 7.5 years of experience so, would it be a wise decision to go for MS ?
    3. How I should start preparing for GRE, I heard about Magoosh, Princetorn & also some institutes in Gurgaon ?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Navneet,
      1. Yes, fall is better. You can read Fall vs Spring Admission in US
      2. It all depends on your passion and priorities in life…You are not just getting a degree for the sake of getting right ? It is a lot of time and money spent on it. Think of your long term goals and passion and ensure your higher education is aligned with it.
      3. Well, online training like you mentioned helps…you can take the standard sample GRE test on ETS website and see where you stand to get some idea and then think about what to focus. Then you can do some research on best books or institutes and go for it.

  18. Ms. Harshal jadhav

    Hi,
    My name is MS. Harshal Jadhav.
    I am 30years old. I am a hotel management graduate. My resume is quite versatile. I passed out in the year of 2006. Started my career as a kitchen trainee for 3 years. And took major jump as a cabin crew in the year of 2009.i have good flying experience of 5 years but I quit tht job coz of my health issues. Currently I am working as a guest relation executive from past 1 year 4 months.
    I had a dream of studying abroad but cud not afford it because of Financial conditions.
    Now I want to study abroad and get a job and get settled there.
    Something into hotel management or may be a public relations where I can travel for business and earn good money or have a good position.
    Can u suggest anything on this.

    Regards,
    Harshal jadhav

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Harshal,
      I have no expertise in that domain, cannot really answer. Maybe you can write to few universities and inquire. Also, if you goal is to move to USA, on the visa part, you can check USCIS website, what would be the visa that will give you option to work. Wish I could add more details…

  19. simmi katyal

    Respected sir/Madam,

    Good morning

    I am simmi . I have done B.SC (Med) with Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics in 1999 and M.SC (Zoology) in 2001. Presently, i am in Govt. job in india. Plz suggest me any course in US as i want to study There which is my dream from my teenage. Plz guide. I am married and having two kids (11 & 6) yrs . I shall be highly thankful to you.

    Thanks &Regards

    simmi

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      simmi,
      If you are really passionate about studying in US, then you should pursue it. Regarding what you want to study, it is up to your interests. US gives you the option to change majors as needed in Masters. You will need to take GRE, TOEFL to get into decent schools. You can look at few schools on the specific requirements. Do some research you will be able to find a lot of information.

      1. simmi katyal

        Respected sir,
        Good Morning,

        Thanks for replying. I have done IELTS with R= 7, L=5.5, S= 6, W= 5. Overall =6 Bands. Plz suggest any course on the basis of which i can also get job there in US. Moreover, i am having B-1/B-2 Visa also . I am married and having two kids. they all r having B-1/B-2 Visa. Can we all settle there. Plz guide.

        Thanks & Regards

        Simmi

        1. administrator
          Kumar

          simmi,
          We do not advise on schools or jobs. There are many caveats all over the journey of moving to US, I suggest you do some research.

  20. Kaneez Fatima

    I am 30 year old Unani doctor with a post graduate degree. I already have a valid h4 visa.my thoughts are constantly on higher education which i always wanted to pursue..

    1. is it too old for me to study .
    2. my field which i want to select will be related to life sciences /public health or biotechnology?does it provide for good oppurtunities for research and further PHd ..
    or do i have to do MS and then register for PhD?

  21. Jaya

    Hello Kumar,

    This is Jayaram from Bangalore. First of all I would like to congratulate you on doing a great job by helping us in providing information on US visas.
    About me, I am years old software engineer with 8 years exp in IT. I have enrolled myself for a top 150 university in the US. And I have my F1 Visa interview in 2 weeks.
    My Situation is : I am 31 year old unmarried woman, with 8 years experience in IT. I have low academic scores and a TOEFL score of 84. I have not written GRE and i have got admission based on my experience. I have a valid B1/B2 visa and have visited US, 4 years back. Also my elder brother is US citizen and stays in California. Could you please let me know if I would be granted my F1 visa without any issue.

    Awaiting your reply.
    Thanks
    Jayaram

  22. nikhil

    hello
    i am 37 year old practising doctor homoepath with 12 years of practice , i already have a valid h4 visa. all these years i never thought about it. but since i got a h4 ( a year back) my thoughts are constantly on higher education which i always wanted to pursue..

    1. is it too old for me to study .
    2. my field which i want to select will be related to life sciences /immunology or viriology ?does it provide for good oppurtunities for research and further PHd ..
    or do i have to do MS and then register for PHd
    3. is it good to apply to universities on h4 itself or convert to f1 ..
    thank you for your time.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      nikhil,
      1. No, it is never old or late.
      2. I cannot speak for opportunities, all I can say is, you should pursue your passion and you will find your opportunities in that area. You do not need MS for PhD. You can apply directly, you will be required to take GRE and TOEFL and other requirements as per the school.
      3. Each of them have their advantages, if you are close to getting H4 EAD, you are better off doing on H4…if you intended to work on OPT, then you can convert to F1…Speak to your spouse, they would be able to guide too.

  23. Brinda

    Hi
    I’m 35 years old stay at home mom of two kids ,I’m in H4 visa I did Msc in electronics dnt have any work experience now I want to start new career,can I do MS in computer science?and what all the requirements I need ?

  24. Mehta

    I have already completed my Master’s in Biotechnology and working in the filed of Clinical Research at MNC as Assoc. Project Manager. I have crossed age of 30. Do I really see a good scope to pursue MS in USA now? And I see there are lot of scope in Computer Science/Engineering fields, but I have seen Life Science field has very less scope, can you suggest if after having good job and scope currently, field such as Public Health or Health Administration is a good option? I don’t want to opt for MBA too..so I feel will this a good decision to study further now and life science field will be worth choosing?

  25. Abhineta

    I have 10+ years of IT Ex and looking for beyond the regular daily IT stuff.
    I am planning for MIS but not very confident about the Job etc in USA after MIS as this will be a very big decision for me.

  26. Kiran

    Hi ,

    I am currently working at SAP Labs and I intend to pursue MS from USA. I am already 26 years old and I am aiming for the admissions in 2018 i.e by that time i would be 28 years old. Looking at my present situation ,the fact that I am already working in one of the best company is it all worth quitting it and going for MS? Am I too late,..?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Kiran,
      It depends on your passion for higher education. All I can tell you is that, getting MS may not guarantee you many things like getting work visa, getting job in US for a company like SAP, etc…so, it boils down your dream and passion. If it was your dream to do MS, then go for it…if not, no need for it. Also, I suggest you look at your long term goals and then try to do education that can help you get there…

  27. ANEESH VARGHESE

    hi,
    my name is Aneesh Varghese.Iam from India I took bachelor degree in philosophy ,then i took three years diploma in nursing.now i would like to do masters in healthcare management or hospital administration course from abroad.i have more than 7 years hospital experience as staff nurse. can you please suggest me good universities offer these course in USA or European countries,and what are the basic requirement to qualify these course.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Aneesh,
      We do not advise on the schools. All I can advise is that you will need to find the schools based on your interests. You will need to take GRE/ TOEFL for most of the decent schools…You will need to check with each of the schools for the full details on their specific requirements.

  28. Ani

    Ani – Hi , I dont have +2 and done B.Sc from Open university and pursuing M.Sc Computer Science fina;; year.
    Do i eligible for MS in US and i m working in charge for US company

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Ani,
      Every school is different. Usually, you will need 16 years of education to pursue Masters in US. You may get education evaluation done or check with few schools by sending your current degree and see, if they are accepted and if you are eligible.

      1. narasim

        Hi iam Narasim I completed my Btech chemical engineering in Second Division,2008
        I have 8 years experience but I want to change my career in Computers and iam interested to study in USA pls tell any best certificate course in USA for computers

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