One of the most important things everyone thinks about, while planning to study in US, is if they can work in US after MS or MBA…In the past few years since 2013, with H1B Visa Lottery, which is lottery for temporary work visa to work in USA for advanced skilled workers, ( check H1B Lottery, cap reach History from 2000 to 2019 ) the option to work in USA after higher education like MS or MBA from an American University is uncertain. As a student, planning to study in US, even if you do everything right like get admission and study at a top 10 school like Harvard/ Stanford, get your dream job at Google/Microsoft, to work in US after graduation, you have to still rely on your LUCK to get picked in H1B Visa lottery Also, with Trump Administration now in power, there are many changes in immigration system for foreign workers, especially more stringent policies around work options for foreign workers. There are many arguments, frustrations, sad stories shared by many, who pursued their higher education in USA , regarding H1B lottery and their future…It is heart touching…This article focuses on some of the common pitfalls in decision making for higher education and help you make more informed decision.
Basic question – Why Higher Education like MS or MBA ? What’s your Goal ?
As I mentioned in the article Goals for MS in USA, many students are not clear on their goals for higher education. You need to be clear on the below aspects.
- Why higher education like MS in USA?
- Are you passionate to learn ?
- Do you want to become a researcher or professor some day ?
- Do you plan to become a technical expert in certain area ?
- Why higher education like MBA in USA ?
- Is management your passion ?
- Do you want to get promoted into managerial roles ?
- Do you want to use your MBA for promotion ?
- Is it for entrepreneurship ?
- Forget all the above – I want to go to America and Make MONEY !
Both MS and MBA are quite different, many students often are not sure on the differences, they usually ask, I want to study should I do MS or MBA ? They consider it as just Masters…Read MS vs MBA in USA after B.Tech difference .
Passion for Higher Education with Clear Goals – 1 and 2 points of above
If you are pursuing higher education with passion and a clear goal, with path defined and your MS or MBA adds value, helps you accelerate your journey to reach your goal, then go for it. You should be very clear on this because, you are investing in your education without expectation that you want to work in America…If you start your education with the goal of just working in US, then you can be disappointed at a later stage with your future depending on LUCK of H1B Lottery ! You will have an opportunity to work in US on CPT during your Masters for 6 to 11 months and also for about 12 months on OPT, with an option for another 24 months ( total 36 months), if you are part of the STEM designated degree category (The STEM Designated Degree Program category is a complete list of fields of study that DHS considers to be science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) fields of study for purposes of the 24-month STEM optional practical training extension)….That’s about it what you can count on…rest is for luck ! You need to calculate your finances and plan for your education. There is no point in complaining after your MS or MBA that you have loans and you did a mistake, etc…It is a tough call, but you need to make it at the beginning ! Also, beware of the blatant facts of the job opportunities in your home country like India after MS or MBA from USA.
Go to America – Work in America – Make MONEY – 3rd point of above
If your end goal is to move to America, work there and make Money, maybe settle down there… then you need to really think about it…Though, it may sound logical for many to think that if you do MS or MBA, you fall into Advanced degree masters cap and have higher chances in lottery…still you are relying on luck…it may not be the right thing to do….You will lose two years of your career…Also, you are just studying to get around and get a degree by spending huge sums of money….it is not JUST MONEY, it is also TIME. Few years ago, the path of MS or MBA used to be very attractive to move to America…but not anymore…in my view, you should pursue higher education only if you are passionate about it and it adds value to your end goal. If you are clear on this, you would not be complaining about your luck and US immigration system at a later point…There are other ways to work in America, like on L1, you just need to pick the right company in your home country and plan accordingly so that you can move to America, if that’s what you want to do…
Trump Administration – H1B Program Changes
Since Trump Administration has taken office, there have been many changes to reduce the fraud in the H1B program by IT body shop companies. They have introduced rules that are aligned with their Executive Order of Buy American and Hire American. There are some new policy memos in 2018 like Third Party Worksite Contract Requirements for H1B workers and many other similar actions planned as part of the Fall 2017 Regulatory Agenda that could limit or tighten H1B, F1 related working options.
Many may not agree with my perspective, but considering all the risk you would take financially and your time for it…Higher Education should be driven by passion and not just get another degree to work and move to USA…Honestly, getting a Masters in USA, will NOT get you any better job in America, unless it is very specialised and research driven. Your odds are as good as with a Bachelor’s degree and work experience in that field. With recent immigration changes and Trump Administration, US is no longer attractive for students in the long run to work and settle down…Also, USA is not the only country in the world, you have many countries that offer great education with options to work as well. You just need to explore…
What are your thoughts?