Home » Study in USA » Why Study Masters in the US? Your Goals: Education vs. Job, Money

Why Study Masters in the US? Your Goals: Education vs. Job, Money

Some of the most fundamental questions that international students need to ask themselves before they start preparing to study in the US are as below :

  • What are my goals for studying abroad?
  • Does studying in the US for international students give them good career progression?
  • Why should I study master’s degree in the US? Any specific reasons?
  • Am I looking to just get a job after MS or do something more like Ph.D. in the US?
  • What are the impacts of the recession on F1 students in the US for Funding, Jobs, etc.?
  • What are the work visa requirements for F1 students to work in the US?

There can be many such questions similar to above, where you should ask yourself, Why? and again Why? It is a lot of time commitment and money too. It is two years of your valuable life. In this article, we are focusing on the goals for studying in the US and not finances.

Most international students are driven by either of the below two major objectives.

  1. Passion to study and get into the career of their choice or do research.
  2. Get a nice paying job after MS/ MBA and make those dream dollars and live the “American Dream!”

Passion to study in the US, do research & get Ph.D.? or 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 a passion for business. Some students just like the education system in the US, they want to experience the education system. Check the article for more info : Bachelors and Masters Education System in USA vs India .

Most decent US universities provide outstanding research infrastructure and support students, and active researchers with state and federal grants, including grants given by major corporate companies. If your goal is to excel in your area of interest and get Ph.D. in the future and may be inventing something, become a professor or scientist one day, then US is probably a very good choice.

Maybe there are other countries on par with the US Universities, but still, the 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, the US has some of the best Universities. The quality of education is very good. The class dynamics, course structure, and professors’ help are unbelievable.

This does not mean every school in the US is good, you will have to pick good schools by doing proper research on them like research facilities, papers published, inventions, alumni, Ph.D programs offered, global ranking, etc. Bottom line, the US has some very good Universities and if it is your passion to experience the education and learn something good and maybe do research, then studying in the US is definitely a better choice.

You will have to consider other things about finances and other things, but if your goals are more about getting a good education and your passion for academics & research is more important than making money and an immediate job, then you should definitely go for it and pick the US for higher education and research. You may also read this article:  If studying MS in US, is your goal professor or scientist

Get a Job in the US, make Money, and live the American Dream

Unlike above, there are some international students, whose primary aim to study in the US is to get a well-paying job, and make money. For such students, getting a good education is a secondary focus and getting a job is the main focus.

Such students with these primary intentions, arrive in the US on an F1 visa and try to complete their master’s degree in less time, find a job at an employer who can sponsor an H1B visa, and apply for an H1B visa as soon as they can. 

In all reality, for international students coming from Asia to study in the US is very attractive because of the value of a US dollar over their home country’s currency. For instance, the money international students from countries like India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, etc., make in the US is worth more in their home countries and it can help them send and save more money in their home country.

At the outset, studying in the US and then working in USA logically sounds like one of the better ways to earn money for such international students. Ideally, they can save money in the US and send savings to their home countries like India or Pakistan and create an asset or buy property, etc. You can check where to put your money – India or US Savings account.

To get a perspective on the savings, imagine if you can save a nominal $3000 dollars in the US and send it to India, you can save around $36,000 USD in a year. As of 2022, 36K USD comes to Rs 25,56,000 per year ( 1 USD = 71 INR). Assuming you do not apply for a green card in the US and leave the US after the end of the H1B visa tenure of 6 years, then the money you save is around Rs 1,27,80,000. It is quite a bit of money and probably very difficult for anyone to do that kind of saving working for an Indian company in India. Of course, nowadays companies in India are paying much more salaries, and still US stands out as a place to make money and do more savings.

While all of this sounds very logical and rosy for international students,  the biggest catch is getting is H1-B Visa. The demand for an H1B visa has been crazy in the past 10 years or so and you are subject to H1B Visa Lottery to work in the US. Check H1B Cap reach dates history, Lottery years. Also, in the last few years, there have been quite a few changes in the immigration rules and USCIS has put in strict regulations to avoid fraud around H1B visas.

All in all the best case scenario if all your plans go well and you get lucky in the H1B lottery, it is a perfect choice. But, it is life and never luck favors you all the time and not in your control.

Now that you understand the two main intentions, let’s look at what makes sense

As an international student, should I come to the US with the H1B lottery?

It is a very tricky question and there is no right or wrong answer to this. It is very subjective and depends on your personal choice and preferences. Let me be clear, this is just my personal opinion and what I think based on logical reason and experiences.  

If you are coming to the US for option number 1, i.e., it is your passion, dream to study, etc. Then nothing should stop you. You are coming to the US for good education and maybe academic research to grow up in an academic career. If you are coming to the US with this option in mind, your focus is education and not looking to make money immediately by settling in the US right after your education. As a reality check, if things do not work out and you cannot get a job for paying loans, you may need to go back to your home country and not regret it because it is good education and you are happy with it.

On the other hand, if your primary goal to come to the US is to make money by getting a job, then you need to be more cautious of the risks associated with it. The reason is, that you are dependent on the luck of the H1B lottery to work in the US. If you d not get an H1B visa, you need to go back and you might be very disappointed as you came to the US to make money as a focus and not education.  

To give you a little more context, in the last 10 consecutive years since  FY 2014,  with the high demand, there was a lottery for H1B Visa. Just to give you a perspective, for 85,000 visas available in a year a total of 484,000 registrations were filed for H1B FY 2023 quota. It means that for 1 H1B visa cap slot, USCIS received 5.69 registrations.

The bottom line, you have to think in terms of Cost Vs Earnings. Because your intention is to make money, you have to 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 a less risky option to Work in the US: L1 to H1B?

If your primary goal is to work in the US and not education, one of the safer options for international students or professionals is to get a job at large multinational companies like Accenture, IBM, Deloitte, Infosys, Cognizant, TCS, etc. in their home countries and then come to the US on L1 visa as an internal transfer.

After you arrive in the US, you can apply for an H1B visa during your L1 Stay in the US and convert to H1B visa from an 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 an H1B visa.


Overall, you need to be very clear on your reasons to study in the US, if it is good education or make money. If your goal is to make money only, then you can consider other options like moving internally within an MNC company over studying in the US as it is more predictable than H1B lottery. Talk to your friends, seniors, elders and take good advice from them and make a wise choice.  

You may also read articles that can give you some perspective on the history to make an informed decision : Should I apply for MS in US with H1B Lottery ? or H1B 2023 Lottery Results

What are your thoughts ?

Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/notionscapital/3877375629/


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  1. Hello Sir,
    I have gone through many of your answers and I fell that this is an excellent guide for all the students who wish to pursue their masters in USA.

    Can you please tell what should one write about their goals in their Statement of purpose while applying to Universities. ( which is mutually beneficial to both the University and the student).
    Other than a high paying job I would get after Ms in USA, I really want to pursue my masters to experience US education and improvise myself on a global level.
    Kindly reply if you feel it is a valid question.

    Thank you 🙂

    • You should not try to create SOP trying to fit in goals of the school, it should reflect your ambitions in life and your career path. It could be even as simple as ‘better education experience’…If you try to put in SOPs that does not reflect your situation, it will be easily identifiable and it could hurt you. Take time to think about what you want to study and why you want to study in that school, including why that school…

  2. Hello my name is Vishesh.
    I am in my final year from an average engineering college with an average cgpa of 6.2
    I did my 10th and 12th from ISC board securing 74% in both.
    What should I do MS from abroad or MBA from india?
    My main goal is to support my family financially. So all I want is money. Please tell me what should I do?

      • What can I do to get a job in an MNC?
        I’m really confused and as I understand won’t I get 3 years after my ms degree to apply for H1B? After MS from STEM branches I think you get 3 years of time to do the job there while simultaneously trying the H1B lottery. That equates to 3 chances. Won’t they be enough. I mean 3 chances are enough right? Also tell me what can I really do if not MS? I don’t have lots of options. My B.E. is not good enough to land me any job. Please help.

  3. hi im pass out this year BE(IT) 2016 my 1 year gap in education due to medical
    my aggregate is 55.82.and i got 61.62 in final year,i have already published two international journal papers.i’m so much interested in research
    i’m willing to do my ms in us.will my education gap affect for getting top 100 university in us.or i should do the job in india and then prefer gre and tofel.

    • shiva,
      It should not really matter for your admission in top 100 schools. If your research is already published in good journals, you have very high chances of getting admission. You need to target good schools that fit your interests and credentials. Again doing job or working is a personal choice, if you are passionate about education and have enough publications, you can give it a good shot.

  4. Hello Sir/Ma’am,
    I am currently pursuing M.Tech (Communication systems) with current cgpa of 7.61 and have done B.Tech in ECE with a score of 79%. I wish to settle in USA and make money there. What are the options that can lead me to my way. Shall i go for MS in USA or are there any job options available for people like me?

  5. Great topic guys!! I love whats happening here. This is a question faced by Masters students, undergrads and those wanting to go back to school.


  6. Hey, so I am going to take GRE in a few days and I was so excited to go to the US but then there’s something stopping me.. Or making me think twice over this decision. Then I happened to surf the internet and come across your articles. I really want to thank you for all these articles because they’re so helpful! They made me think of what I’m doing is right or not.. As you said I don’t have a proper goal of pursuing MS from there. I’ve always wanted to go the States (always) but going there without a proper goal and with no scholarships and to an average university.. Does not make sense. Anyway, could you suggest some ways by which one can go to the US for working there for some period of timein future? I’ve pursued Bachelors in EC engineering and there’s no work experience because I just passed out this year.

    • Bijal, The best way to work in US is to work in an multi national company with presence in US. If you work in India for few years at an MNC you would get some opportunities to work in US. As you just passed out, your goal should be to get a job at an MNC.

  7. hello, i am a B.Tech graduate from hyderabad with IT passedout in 2014. i have dis like towards the technical stream. i am intrested in management roles. i have prepared for GMAT when am about to give my exam people warned me, suggested me, frightned me n finally made my mind to go for ms with any it stream. i need some guidence about this n my questions are. what about the career opertunities after mba n ms (i am not a merit student but i am a quick learner)

  8. hii im a btech 2014 passout in cse i wanted to do ms in us but i have 2 backlogs in btech which i have an option to leave them does that effect visa and applying of colleges

  9. i have a little query about further studies. i am hotel management graduate with having one year of experience in star hotel as a chef. i want to do further studies related to my field. if i will move to newzeland,
    what are the career growth option. because i don’t wanna come back after completion the masters. i want to job there.
    is it possible if yes
    then how please let me know

    • Take my challenge to answer this.

      With very little, you did something constructive, built your confidence and made sure that you will have some solid ground to stand on when you go to NewZealand. Find a student chef circle that will support you. Please follow me on twitter @johnny20201.
      Google #iblogstats. TYVM.

  10. Hi,

    I have completed my B.E(EXTC ) in 2012. I have been working in TCS for last 15 months. I am planning to do MS in EXTC from USA. I wish to go in spring 2016. Would it be tough to do MS in EXTC after having experience in IT. Also will i get good job in india after doing MS in USA. Please guide.

  11. am doing BE final year .. i got marks consistantly second clas.. my question how much percentage is good for going abroad to make MS

  12. Hello

    I am an MBA with 3 years of work experience. I would like to study further in the field of digital marketing in US.

    Could you guide me regarding this? and the Visa process too.

    Thanks in advance.


    • hello neha. .
      .actually I want to be a businessman in my life so I wnt to improve my skill and I wnt to do MBA in future bt I m little bit confused so can u help me plz

  13. Hi , I am in a state of confusion .
    I am a 2012 B.Tech grad and I have been working in a decent start up since Dec’2012 with a take home of 31k per month . My friends who have completed MS in US have started working from this month and their salary is 70K USD. What I earn entire year , they earn in a month .
    I get that inferiority complex and I regret for not being able to study abroad .
    What do you advice me to do ? Go and do MS or continue with the same job?

    • 6000 USD has 33% tax.. the living expenses are 4x times that of India. Chill you need not feel inferior. If you want to settle there then thats a different story altogether. But salar wise.. Maybe if they live a frugalous life then they will save more. But then you are closer to home than they are,

  14. I have done my engineering from Electronics & communication. I have scored 314 in GRE and 4 Research papers published. Now i am planning to pursue my MS in Artificial Intelligence which comes under CS in most of the Universities. Hence, I have to shift to CS branch. My question is would it not be tough for me to study in CS branch as i don’t have a good programming background?

  15. hello..

    I have completed my graduation in the year 2012, i would like to go usa for doing my master’s in the yaear 2014. Is there any validity of time(years) to study in abroad after completion of graduation in india. please answer me.. I mean,” how many years of validy is there for going to study after completion of my graduation.”

  16. I am a student of B Tech with Electrical and Electronics engg. I wanted to pursue in CMU or Berkly University in Electrical Engg. I am from midsize family affordable upto 10 lacs with
    loan facilities. Is it worthwhile to puruse study in USA in next year/one year. Please advise.
    I am confused a lot due to dollar flucations.

  17. Hi Kumar,

    I am BE(CS) graduate, 2011 batch, currently working as a developer in a software company from 2 years. I got 91% in 10th, 80% in PU, and 67% in BE. I was looking to do MS in US/Canada from good Universities. But i came to know from their websites and student forms, they look for minimum of 70 or 75% in BE. So i am in dilemma whether to proceed doing MS or concentrate on the current job and get into some premier companies.

    I would be grateful to you if you can help me with your valuable information. Looking forward for your reply…


  18. Hi Kumar,
    I am a 3rd year mech engg student. I am interested in doing my masters in germany or the us. I am interested in R&D and design type of jobs. Money is not that an important factor for me, just hope to live decently & comfortably. I am confused whether i should apply for ms directly after B.Tech or do a job for a couple of years and then apply. What is the value of work experience in an Indian company in the US universities? Does it help in getting scholarships, internships, etc ?

  19. hi i have just begun my pre-final year i.e. TE in BTECH in Mechanical Engineering.
    My query is can i apply for MS whilest i am in the final year of BTECH so that i can get myself admitted immediately in the same year of my passing? In India all masters programs give provisional admissions to final year students who clear their entrance tests like GATE, CAT etc.

    I have just taken GRE and GMAT and my scores are exceptional. Will give TOEFL next year as it has very limited 2yr validity.

    Pls tell me does US universities accept applications of students in final years and give provisional admission?

  20. Dear All,

    I have been doing quite a lot of research on the topic ” Job Scenario in US ” in my field of interest i.e. Operations, as I intend to do my Master’s in Industrial Engineering.

    To give a brief description about myself, I graduated with a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering in the year 2009 and then on have been working in companies involved in the field of construction.

    Please reply to this comment with your advice ,views and thoughts on the above mentioned topic .Would feel happy to receive even links that I should be referring to.

    Please do the needful.

    Sharad Nandkishore

      • Hi,
        I’m sorry for posting this long question that is not related to topic discussed here, but I really need the answer

        I’m doing my B. Tech in Kolkata. In here, at job campuses you’re required to have your aggregate above 60% in 10, 12 & B.tech. My B.Tech is okay, above the minimum requirements, but I did pretty bad in 12, got less than 60%. And I’m having difficulties finding a job that requires less than 60% throughout the academic years.

        Now, considering the fact that US Universities don’t look at your high school grades, but only at you Bachelor grade & considering that I do get an admission into moderate (locally well know) state-funded University in US, will my 12th grade be a big deal during job interview, eventhough I did good on Bachelor & Master? In case, the market in US remains bad, will the American degree from NON-TOP-NOTCH University pay off at home??

        And I’m hearing about this certificate you need to have from Microsoft or CISCO to get better options to have a job in US, is that true??

        • Arjit, There is nothing to worry about your 12th grade during job. Employers do not care about your 12th grade. Well, this depends on various factors like where you got it from and your goals for higher education. Not really, it may help you have a stronger profile over other candidates.

  21. i got admit in WRIGHT STATE UNIV for EE program.And fee per yr is $14680.I need to know abt univ n is it ok to pay such amount.

  22. Hello,i got admit in wright state univ for ee program.The univ is gud in wireless communication and iam intrested in it.I need to know abt jobs in the field am intrested after completing masters.

  23. Hi,
    I have been in US since Aug 2008..I will be graduating in summer 2011 with MS food safety technology.I already worked full-time for a year on CPT..now after I graduate,I will be looking for jobs again. Do you think if I plan to move back to India,I will find a good job in a food industry or shud I just hang on until I find a job over here.please reply,I have been here for a long time now and also become tired if everything hence have no plans of Phd also

  24. I am planning to go to fall 2011… I know the job situation is not good in USA… but I wont be looking to job in US until June 2013, when I complete MS. I think the job situation should have improved by then. Also I will be looking for H1b only in June 2014. Definitely the H1b rules should have been relaxed by then…. I hope…

  25. hello sir, i m keen to do my MS,but the problem is financial,can u approximate the total amount that must spend as a fact.As a topper in my class ,this is my problem.This is not only my ambition,but life.And also give me information abt loans and scholerships.

  26. hi kumar, i appreciate the ur work in this site. i need ur help if u can. i’ve secured admission for MSEE in 4 US univs aftr havin compltd my msc integ in EC in 2009 with 8.6/10 ogpa. i wanted to join Univ of texas at dallas for fall 2010 amng those. bt since i’ve already done msc integrated in EC(5 yr prog equiv to BE) i been rejected for f1 us visa twice. i tried to explain that the syllabus i’ve stdied is nt sufficient n it deals with EC and nt Tele/wireless commn that i want to gain expertise in. i also said dt i did nt want a job now n want to gt a proper master in tele/wireless commn, bt all in vain. the VO in second interview said dt he was sure i cud gt a gud job with dis degree in india n good luck. now the next date avlbl for visa appntmnt is 27th aug bt my session at UTD starts on 19th. i requestd utd for allowin me a lil late n told reason they advised me to gt my adm deferd, by contacting acedemic advisr, to spring 2011. tell me wt can i do? chances of gettin visa 3rd time are very less n i’l be late for session.

    • Vishal, It is unfortunate you have been rejected twice. Honestly, it can be very hard to convince consular officer… there is a luck factor that is tied… I do not want to assume any wrong advice, because it can back fire. Anyways, be confident and give an answer that logically makes sense. Yes I think the advisers at UTD do not want you to rush as this is very last minute….I think it is too close for this Fall unless you get stamping in a day or tow and fly immediately after you get passport. See if you can get anything in next 3 or 4 days…does not hurt, if not may be you can defer.

    • Hello Vishal,
      I am curious to know if you finally got the F1 visa. I’m currently debating whether to take up an MSc in Computer Science in India. My ultimate aim is to do an MS in CS in the US but I don’t qualify for admission there because my BE is in EC (it’s different in India because colleges here accept a BE in EC for an MSc in CS). I’m thinking that the MSc in CS from India will help me meet eligibility requirements for the US MS in CS. Do you think this is a good plan or will I face the same problems getting an F1 visa?
      I’ve thought about going for a PhD in the US after an MSc in India but I honestly don’t want to do a PhD.

      • “I’ve thought about going for a PhD in the US after an MSc in India but I honestly don’t want to do a PhD.”

        ..doesn’t make sense.
        You sound like me. Me: I want to be passionate about CS and be so obsessed with it and end up with a Phd. But…but the worst part is that I’m not passionate and I’m sure I’ll just feel trapped if I go for phd, with no goal or real interest.

  27. Hi,
    i have 1 question from long back,
    if i m compleated my masters degree with in 2yrs and my visa date expires and if i didn’t get any job.
    Then how i would renewal my visa and stay there without returning to india.
    If there is a chance to do PHD after masters in usa to extend visa date.
    I m searching this answer from many days though i wouldnt get any answer.
    I am afraiding to study ms in usa bcz of this reasons and money background.
    Plz reply soon for this question.i waiting..,

  28. HELLO !
    Sir , m planning of doing MS(US) in comp science , but after 2 years from now, what will be the chances of getting a job in US ? also what is the current scenario about job opportunities after MS ??
    i have been searching for these answers from long time but couldnt find any reliable answers ,
    sir please help me !

    thank you.

    • Vikran, it is very hard to answer your question because of the macroeconomic factors, visa rules changes and the recession. The outlook for jobs look positive. The point is not about getting job, it is the visa rules that are changing and making more complex. Also, the recession does not help it either. Let us hope everything will be good after 2 years. To answer your question, hard to say..hoping to be good. Current situation is not that great. Very hard to get a H1B sponsor. Many students are using the 29 month OPT and working until they find sponsor.

  29. Hey Kumar,
    uv provided loads of usefull info..really appreciate ur help..i needed ur advice on a few things.
    ie i completed my btech in coputer science in 2009 and have been working with infosys since august last year.
    i dont want to be in a hardcore technical job and hence want to change my profile to a more managerial one.
    ive been exploring my options of an mba abroad but that seems difficult with the little experience i have.i dont want to work in a technical role for the next 2 or 3 years so as to build my work ex for an mba.besides a profile with 3 yrs in it is a very regular profile and i am doubtfull of a good call even with 3 yrs of experience.this is the main problem.
    the other option that has come to my notice is doing ms in MIS since ive heard its more on the managerial side and then after a few years explore an mba abroad.
    would like ur opinion on this..really appreciate u taking out time to help.


    • Cash, I am glad you like the info. 3 years of work experience is good for MBA. MIS is not exactly completely managerial as you think. Read this article : MS in MIS vs MS in CS . Also, read the Career Paths for MS in MIS. My personal opinion is, it would be more beneficial to you if you do MBA directly after couple years. If you plan to do MBA in US, it can be expensive so plan your finances accordingly from now. You may also read Should I do MS or MBA after B.tech to get an idea of MBA and the cost of doing MBA in US. Hope it helps

      • Thanx for the prompt reply Kumar.
        ur right when u say that an MBA would suit me more.My only contention is that a 3 year work ex in IT pretty common these days and wud not get me a good b-school in the US.besides i am in a software development role right now and am sure that management is the thing for me.
        I read the articles u mentioned.

        Wudn getting a job as a consultant after doing MS in MIS and then doin my MBA make sense..I guess after doing my MS and working for a few years i would have built a good enough profile and got more exposure.[i could be wrong .please feel free to correct me].i dont know very much about MIS and dont want to get stuck in a very technical coding job again.hence my reservations about going for MIS.[i have little knowledge on it as of now so any help u offer wud be great]

        Am sorry for the long post but i need some sound advice on this.really appreciate ur help.

        thanks 😉

        • Personally, I think just doing MS for getting job in US is of little use to your career. As I mentioned in the article : What are the goals for studying in US, if you just want job you can come to US through a company on L1 and the get H1B and change to a consultant. Masters degree is done typically once and after you realized what you really like to do, so doing MS for the sake of doing is not going to be of good help to you. It will cost you extra money and ruin 2 years of your time, instead you can work and get the experience and get to MBA soon. Getting MS in MIS will not guarantee you management job. You can see in this article the typical careers related to MIS . Pick the right choice even if takes time.

  30. hi,
    I’m studying engineering now…i want to go to US for doing MS..So i should start shortlisting the universities..where can i find the appropriate informatioon about this and courses offered?

    • Well, I think you should first take GRE, TOEFL and then look for Universities. Check the article : Steps to Study MS in US and the sections are listed in sequence. To research schools, you either search online or go to University websites and then look for info. It would be helpful if you have someone applying at the same time with you for researching schools.

      • Sir,
        I am mechanical engineer and havine 7 yeras of production (3.5 years ) and purchase (3.5 years) in MNC (Pump industry). I am willing to do my ms in us.My ultimate goal is to make money and live in american dream.Is it right decesion to quit the current (Good job) and take loan and go for ms in us (i dont have bank balance although i am working from last 7 years)??? will i get the small job while doing ms,which can help me finicially???after my ms will this 7 years of experince get counted for us job.

        My acedmic and professional back ground is stong.

        Please advice


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