US is a tech talent magnet


For this post, I have charted the growth of foreign student population in US – a key driver, in my opinion to US’s tech dominance globally.

As always, if you have a suggestion for next post’s topic, shoot me an email (or mention in comments below).

United States has dominated the worldwide technology industry over the last 3-4 decades. Companies like Apple, Google are household names all over the world.

One of the reasons why US has done so well, is that its a talent magnet. And a lot of this talent makes their way into US via higher education.

Number of foreign students enrolled in US colleges have grown from 0.3m in 1980/81 to 1.0m in 2019/20 (with a slight decline in the Covid year)

This might seem small compared to overall US college student population of ~20m. However, its big business.

Foreign students contribute $39billion to the US economy every year and support 400k jobs

So where are these students coming from? Mainly Asia, esp. China and India.

In 1980, students from these China and India were <5% of total foreign student population. Now they are 43% (with 35% from China and 18% from India).

Asian students collectively represent 71% of total foreign student population.

And 54% of foreign students pursue a major in STEM subjects. Not surprising given the demographics of US tech workforce.

That’s all for this week. Thanks for reading! 👋


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