Canada HCI value in US market

Hi everyone,

Looking to move over to US in the medium term as market is more developed.

I have done a UX entry level job for about half a year after doing a bootcamp. I recognize I should upgrade with a UX degree. Looking to upgrade in 1 to 2 years.

I am finding that US HCI courses appear to be too expensive.

Are Canadian schools (like University of Toronto) recognised as “local” for the US market? How do they sort of fit in the ranking in the US?

Do Canadian HCI degree holders go on to move to Google (or equivalent) in the US or do I really need to come up with the extra USD 30k-50k and do a US course.

Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated.


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Hi Alex,

As far as I know, unless you come from the extreme top-tier schools in the U.S. (e.g. CMU or MIT), all schools will basically be treated similarly. I don’t think having a Canadian degree will put you in a disadvantage.

However, it’s worth to point out that for international people, the advantage of having a U.S. degree is the subsequent post-graduation visa (See This can be critical if you currently have no work permit in the US. Comparing to other options, spending 30k to 50k and getting a degree in the US will be a relatively feasible way to get the ticket to the field.

Good luck!

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Thanks Kai Teng.

I am a slightly different from normal case. I don’t have US status but I qualify for the much less restrictive and easier H1B1 (Singapore) visa (no petition required and cap has never been hit)

For the progression of my career, I need a masters in HCI.

How would a hiring manager in a company such as say Google, view different HCI masters programs and how do they weight it against other charecteristics like portfolio quality and previous work experience?

How much more valued is the elite CMU and MIT compared to UW/Canadian university/Dutch university/Norweigan university?

I do not to take on more debt than is necessary and it is hard for me to judge what US employers value being so far from the US.

I would appreciate if you could give me more insight into what hiring managers are looking for in the US to allow me to make a more informed choice.

Many thanks,


Nice that you’ve got the visa checked off!

I can’t speak for hiring managers at Google, but based on my observation in the industry, your portfolio will be the most important piece for job applications, followed by your relevant work experience, followed by the school you go to. The longer you are on the UX career path, the less critical your school will be.

It’s worth mentioning that even the elite school makes you stand out, it only matters for the initial resume screening. After that, the phone interview, the design exercise, and the on-site interview are pretty school-agnostic. It basically comes down to the candidate’s performance on the spot & his/her past working experience.

Perhaps the value of a good school is less about its title, but more about the alumni network, the friendship, the mentorship, etc. These things may indirectly increase your luck when it comes to the job search, but of course, it’s not guaranteed.