I have a feeling that US PhD degrees (or, at least, a US PostDoc after a PhD from the EU) are valued more in the EU than EU PhD degrees. However, I cannot prove that.

Are there any statistics as to the percentage of European students getting a PhD from the USA and then getting employed in the EU versus the percentage of European students getting a PhD in the EU and then getting employed in the EU? I.e., which group is more successful in the EU? Or, which group has more acceptance in the EU in the job market?

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    I would assume the majority of either group will get a job in general. Do you mean a professorship in an EU university?
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Mar 18 at 21:17
  • @JonCuster Do you mean a professorship in an EU university? --- Yes.
    – user366312
    Commented Mar 18 at 21:33
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    I would expect this varies quite a bit by field of study. Commented Mar 18 at 21:49
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    Those data wouldn't really give you the answer you want. It would just tell you (probably) that more people want to move one way or the other, not that one of the two is 'more succesful'. To find that out, you'd have to know the number of successfful and unsucessful applicants for positions in both places and then make some assumptions about that.
    – user438383
    Commented Mar 18 at 22:22
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    A further reason your statistic will not settle your question is that while it might be the case that some people value a PhD from the US more, it certainly is the case that people value significant international experience, so you would really need to compare people have did their PhD "properly abroad" but within the EU vs. people who did it in the US. (By "properly abroad" I mean possibly excluding cases like Irish people who did their PhD in the UK etc.) You also need to account for the fact that in some fields there are more leading groups in the US than in the EU. Commented Mar 19 at 10:01

1 Answer 1


It might be a little difficult to give you exact figures for the overall EU region because the statistics maintained by the US Department of Education mainly profile and characterize data from the countries rather than regions. However, what is in your mind is roughly covered in the reports published by the US Department of Education and the private organizations such as the Institute of International Education (IIE).

You can find a recent report published by IIE on the international students growth in the US here https://www.iie.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/IIE_Outlook-2030_March-2024-1.pdf

I also like this interactive tool


Here is an interesting infographic as well :)

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