If you do not know, as an international you can study either full time or part time when working in USA on H1B or L1 Visa. One of the most attractive degrees working professional pick is MBA. Some do it for career progression and some do it because they want to open a business and some do it because they are passionate about management. In fact, studying MBA in USA is totally worth it even if you do not make more money in job. As internationals working in US on H1B, we try to question the value behind our investment of time and money for getting degree. I will list few of the advantages that can help you make an educated decision.
Advantages of studying MBA in USA on Work visas like H1B or L1
- Employer Sponsorship for education or Affordability: Typically, if you work full time in a good company ( NOT desi consulting companies ), they offer complete or partial re-imbursement of tuition fee towards MBA or any higher education that matches your professional goals. For instance, Harley Davidson completely reimburse the tuition fee even it is 100,000 dollars, there is no cap. On the other hand, companies like Kimberly-Clark have an annual cap of 5,000 to 10,000 dollars. It varies depending on the company. Worst case scenario, the company does not sponsor anything for MBA, you are making money and you can either save or afford to take loans and pay tuition fee. Because you are working you can afford expensive education like MBA though an international.
- In-state Tuition Eligibility: This is not applicable if you are applying for private schools. But, if you are applying to top state university Business schools like University of Wisconsin School of Business, Ohio State University Fisher School of Business, as a H1B visa or L1 visa holder, You are eligible for instate tuition if you work in a state for more than one year and pay taxes. The only catch is, you have to be in the state for more than an year and you have a good business school in that area.
- MBA Projects – Live Company Data and Managers help: When you are studying MBA, you will be given assignments and projects to work on. Most of the times, you will be asked to do projects on your own set of data or data from your work. If you are working, you have access to all the company data and you can use live data. For instance, if you get a Business Trend stats project, you can use the company’s sales data to forecast. It helps you apply knowledge learnt to your work and the company you work for. If you are not working, you may have hard time to work on live data. Also, for change management classes you will have to interact with higher level managers or directors, if you work you have easy access to them. You can also ask them to be your mentors too. I did the same thing for projects and I have mentors too. It really helps !
- Networking with Working Professionals for Career Growth : Typically, if you are working full time and take MBA classes, you will be taking classes most of the time in the evening or weekends and majority of the students will be working full time just like you. The fact is, it is a great place for you to network with professionals in other companies. There are good number of managers in the class too. Everyone see your work and you get to discuss, if you want to make a career change or move to other higher role or different company, the network you build in class can be of great help.
- Career Growth with Work experience : One of the biggest advantages of studying MBA while working is, your work experience is ticking, you are never without a job or not working…What it does is, by the time you graduate, you have accumulated your work experience and as well as gained a Masters degree. It is a win-win scenario. Imagine, if you are full time student on F1 visa, you are not working, that time is just student and you are not getting work experience accumulated for your career. Logically, it is a great combination and lets you easily switch to management roles once you graduate with MBA even though you were in low level during studying MBA.
Also, another advantage is, if your wife is interested in studying on H4 visa in USA, some advantages for her are like in-state tuition and also both of you are in same class and can study together. My previous boss did the same thing. It can be a little overwhelming, but many do it !
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