Few of the most fundamental questions, that you have to ask yourself before you pursue higher education in USA are:
- What are my goals for studying abroad?
- Does study in USA for international students give good career progression?
- Why should I study Masters in USA ? Any specific reasons ?
- Am I looking to just get job after MS or do something more like PhD in US ?
- What are the impacts of Recession on F1 students in US for Funding, Jobs, etc ?
There can be many questions similar in your mind and you should ask yourself, Why? and again Why ? It is lot of time commitment and money too. But, two years of your valuable life. In this article, we are looking only at the goals for studying in USA and not finances. We will talk about financial situation in future articles.
Typically, study in US for international students is driven by either of the two major objectives.
- Either passion to study and get into career of their choice or do research.
- Get a nice paying job after MS/ MBA and make those dream dollars and live the “American Dream!”
Is it your passion to study in US ? Do you want to do research and get PhD ? MBA ?
There are a lot of students who are very passionate about US education. They want to achieve something in their technical or functional arena. It could be a research passion or it could be passion for business. Some students just like the education system in USA, they want to experience the education system. Check the article for more info : Bachelors and Masters Education System in USA vs India . The support for any research is very good in US. The US universities provide outstanding research infrastructure and support students and active researchers with state and federal grants or grants sponsored by major companies. If your goal is to excel in your area of interest and get PhD and may be invent something, become a professor or scientist one day, US is probably a good choice. May be there are other countries on par, but US is definitely a very good choice to pursue your research and goals. Also, if you plan to do MBA and become an entrepreneur or work as an investment banker or any business related role, US has some of the best Universities. The quality of education is very good. The class dynamics, course structure, professors help is unbelievable. I am not saying every school is good. You will have to pick the good schools by proper research. Bottom line, US has some very good Universities and if it is your passion to experience the education and learn something good and may be do research, then study in USA is definitely a better choice. You will have to consider other things about finances and other things, but your goals and passion are more important than money. Read this article : If MS in US, Goal Professor or Scientist ?
Get a Job in US, Make money and live the American Dream
Unlike above, there are a significant number of people whose primary aim to come to USA is to get a job in USA and make money. Typically, students with these primary intentions enter US on F1 visa, get done with their Masters in less time, find a job and employer who can sponsor H1B visa and apply for H1B visa as soon as they can. In all reality, study in USA for International students coming from Asia, is very attractive because the dollars the international students make, (especially if the students are from countries like India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, etc) are worth more in their home countries, they can save more money, if they send the same to their home country.
Studying in US and then working in USA logically sounds as one of the better ways to earn money for these international students. Ideally, they save money in US and send savings to their home countries like India or Pakistan and create an asset or buy property, etc. Check this article : Where to put your Money now ? Indian Savings account or US Savings account ? This is a very important thing to consider, imagine if you can save $2000 dollars in US and send to India, you can save around Rs 12,00,000 per year. Assuming you do not apply for green card and leave US after end of H1B visa, i.e, if you work for 6 years on H1B visa, then the money you save is around Rs 72,00,000. It is quite a lot of money and probably very difficult for anyone to do that kind of saving working for an Indian company in India. While all of this sounds very logical and rosy for international students, in the last few years, there has been quite a few changes in the immigration rules after Trump Administration took office and USCIS has put in strict regulations to avoid fraud around H1B visa. Also, in the last few years, there has been H1B lottery as well…so, it can get tricky. So, the best case scenario if all your plans go well and you get lucky in lottery, it is a perfect choice. But, it is life and never luck favours you all the time….
As an international student, should I come to US with H1B lottery and strict rules ?
It is a very tricky question and there is no right or wrong answer to this. Let me be clear, this is just my personal opinion and what I think based on the logical reason and experiences. Well, if you are coming to US for option number 1, i.e., it is your passion, dream, etc. Then nothing should stop you. You are coming to US for Good education and may be research and grow up in academic career. If you are coming for this option, primarily you are not looking to make money and get rich. If things do not work out and you cannot get a job for paying loans, you should be able to go back to India and not regret because it is good education and you are happy for it.
On the other hand, If your primary goal to come to US is to make money by getting a job, then you will have to look at several options, study the news and future job trends in US, How are you chances for working in US in future, etc. You have to get H1B visa to work in US and you should have a H1B sponsor. In the last 6 consecutive since FY 2014, with the high demand, there was lottery for H1B Visa. Just to give you a perspective, for 85,000 visas a total of 233,000 applications were filed for H1B FY 2016 quota, for FY 2019, there were about 190,000 petitions applied… There are many things that influence the H1B visas and jobs.
Anyways, bottom line, you have to think in terms of Cost Vs Earnings. Because your intention is to make money, you have see when will you get your Money back. What is your Return on Investment? Etc. If you want to take a chance, then you should be able to take the risk.
What is less Risky option to Work in US – L1 to H1B change of status ?
Another safer option for many international students or professionals is to get into and work for large multinational companies like Accenture, IBM, Deloitte, Infosys, Cognizant, TCS, etc in their home countries and then come to US on L1 visa and maybe slowly apply for H1B visa during their L1 Stay in US and convert to H1B visa from L1 visa. This is a much safer option as you can see what is going on. But, there are always pros and cons to everything. You may become complacent at times and never take a big risk to transfer to H1B visa.
I tried to explain up to my knowledge…think about it. Talk to some friends, seniors, elders and take good advice from the and make a wise choice. Below are some articles that can give you some perspective of the history to make an informed decision.
What are your thoughts ?
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