Philippine online graduate degrees for US-based immigrants
US IMMIGRATION NOTES - Atty. Marco F.G. Tomakin (The Freeman) - August 23, 2020 - 12:00am

It has always been an accepted truth that graduation from a post-graduate degree is one of the ways to advance one's career. A master's or a doctorate degree in a résumé is also very enticing to potential employers as it shows the applicant's discipline and commitment in pursuing higher education. In the Philippines, all universities and colleges offer various post-graduate programs at all levels and, due to the reasons I just mentioned, it has attracted a very high level of interest among the educated and working class.

This week, I am delighted to learn that my alma mater in Nursing, the Cebu Normal University, is offering various specializations in graduate degrees through online learning. I’m not sure when this program started but I’m happy that graduate programs like these open the door to immigrants here in the US and elsewhere to obtain quality education at a much lower cost than what they can get here in the US. An online nursing masteral program by a reputable US university could easily cost at a minimum around $20,000 whereas a Philippine-based university charges only a fraction of that amount. I may be wrong in my estimate but I don’t think that a CNU Master's in Nursing would cost $10,000 for the whole course. This isn’t an open endorsement of CNU. I’m sure other local universities in Cebu have similar offerings as well. I’m only using CNU as an example due to my personal interaction with their Graduate Studies Department when I inquired about their program.

However, if you are an immigrant based here in the US, you must make sure the online graduate degree you are taking in the Philippines gets credited as an equivalent masteral degree in the US. If you plan to use your Philippine graduate degree as a requirement for a job application or promotion in the US, you must make sure your employer treats your Philippine graduate degree with the same weight as that of a US-based degree. I personally know some of my friends whose master's degrees in Nursing in the Philippines were given due consideration by their employers and as such have been given pay raises and promotions.

It is always an advantage to possess a graduate degree. So for immigrants here in the US, when your circumstances allow, you may wish to consider taking it online through a Philippine university. As long as you make sure that it is equivalent to a US graduate degree, you would have less financial burden with all the wonderful benefits that come with it.

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I have read the very good development that Cebu is turning around positively in its fight against COVID-19. This is a very encouraging report as we now see less number of cases and deaths while the general population feels some sense of confidence in going back to their usual activities with the corresponding awareness of mandated limitations. But we should not let our guard down. Other countries like South Korea, China, Italy, and Spain have experienced resurgence of cluster cases when their citizens showed complacency and less discipline. The virus is still lurking around us and it doesn’t hesitate to attack when it sees our vulnerabilities. We must still continue the actions that got us the success we have now. Let us continue to pray feverishly and practice the restrictions more consistently.

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