Nigerians Are The Most Educated in the U.S.

10.07.2015 10440

Surveys now show that Nigerians in other countries have the highest levels of education. According to the Census data Nigerians are surpassing whites and Asian immigrants in the U.S. In the census of 2006, 37% of Nigerian U.S. households have bachelor degrees compared to 17% of all other groups; 17% have master's degrees compared to 7% of all other groups; 5% have professional degrees compared to 2% of all other groups; 4% have doctorate degrees compared to 1% of all other groups. This can be compared to 8% of whites who have master's degrees, and 1% who have doctorates. 12% of Asians have master's degrees, and 3% have doctorate degrees.

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The chairman of Texas Southern University's department of engineering technologies David Olowokere says that master's degree wasn't enough for his family back home. His wife held a master's degree and is a civil engineer. So he struggled and got a doctorate's degree.

The most common reason given for Nigerian's high rate of degree acquisition is family expectation. Education is valuable and prestigious in the community. After immigrating to the U.S., practical matters of immigrations laws get in the way. The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 made it easier for Africans to enter the U.S., but mostly as students or highly skilled professionals—not through family sponsorships.

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Seeking chances for better job opportunities and economic stability has led many educated Nigerian professionals to migrate to America over the years. Similarly, the Diversity Lottery Program increased the number of Nigerians who were able to receive visas in America to study. Finally, Nigerian culture has long emphasized education, placing value on pursuing education as a means to financial success and personal fulfillment. Famous Nigerian Americans in education include Professor Jacob Olupona, a member of the faculty at Harvard College of Arts and Sciences as well as Harvard Divinity School.

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Although, discrimination still exists. According to the 2010 Economic Policy Institute study black immigrants have the highest unemployment rate of all immigrant workers.

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