Jobs After Studying in America

Is there scope to take up jobs after studying in America? Most students do take up a job in the United States after they have finished their course of study there. However, the student (F1) visa that you get from the US embassy in India does not permit you to take up full-time employment. You have to take permission from the Immigration Department first. The good thing is that obtaining this permission is not very difficult. You are allowed to work after finishing your MS, MBA etc. under Optional Practical Training (OPT).

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Working while Studying: On Campus Jobs

Working while studying in America is quite well-accepted. You can work on campus for 20 hours per week. Almost all students studying in a university find on campus jobs. The pay varies from 6-9 dollars per hour depending on the area and the type of work you get. Even if you get an average of $7 per hours, you can earn around $500 per month which is more than enough to take care of your costs of living. You may even be able to pay part of your tuition costs out of your savings.

On campus jobs can vary from working in a computer lab, or in a library or cafeteria. In America all work is respected because Americans believe in the dignity of labour and in being able to pay for one’s own education. Indians are widely accepted in computer-related fields. You should try to get a job in this area since the jobs are more comfortable and the pay is better.

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Changing Your Field of Study

The American system is very flexible, so changing your field of study is acceptable even in the middle of a course. So, for example a student doing his or her MS in the engineering department of a particular university might shift to a program in the computer science department of that university.

Though this is acceptable, you must remember that when you transfer to a new department, the department may not accept all your credits. They may treat you as a fresh admission and accept only those credits that are common to both programs. So, before you change your course find out what credits will be accepted, see how many you will have to do all over again and then see whether it is really worth it. Only then is it worth thinking of changing your field.

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Changing Universities

Changing universities is possible and is allowed in the American system of education. You may want to change your university for a number of reasons:

  1. You were earlier not given financial assistance in any university, so you took up the best available, but now you have been offered financial assistance by a university that you would like to go to
  2. After you have joined the university you may find that it is not exactly what you wanted – a faculty member who you thought would be teaching is on an assignment elsewhere or the course that you had wanted to study has been changed for some reason and so on
  3. You had to take admission to a low-grade university since your GRE/GMAT scores were not good, but now you have done well in the first semester and on the strength of your improved academic performance, you want to transfer credits to another university.

Change universities for any of these reasons is quite acceptable to and you can change universities at any time but, this is normally done after the first or second semester. Also keep in mind that there are some potential problems that you should be aware of: because of the differences between one university and another, your new university may not accept all your credits and may ask you to take some extra credits.

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When You Should Do Your GRE/GMAT/TOEFL

Students planning to take admission in an American university must have their GRE/GMAT/TOEFL scores in hand at least 9 months in advance. This means that:

  • if you are applying for the fall semester, which starts in September, your score must be ready in January of that same year at the latest.
  • If you are applying for the spring semester, which starts in January, you should have your score in hand by March or April of the previous year.

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Free IELTS Score Reports

IELTS Test centers will send copies of the Test Report Form, free of charge, to up to five ‘recognizing organisations’ (universities and colleges who accept an IELTS score – click this IELTS Global Recognition System link for a list of institutions that accept the IELTS score). If you want your results to be sent automatically to a university or educational institution, include the correct details in the section on the IELTS Application Form – see page 3. and onward for the relevant place to enter their details.) In other words you have to specify the names of the universities and educational institutions you want your free IELTS scores to be sent to in the form before you submit it.

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Free GMAT Score Reports

You may select up to five business school programs to which your Official GMAT Score Report will be sent free of cost. You have to make your choice of programs to which your free GMAT score reports will be sent at the test center on the day you take the GMAT® exam. This has to be done before you begin the test and once you have made your selections, you will not be able to change or delete them. (Click this link: GMAT program database to see a list of programs to which your GMAT scores can be sent.)

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Free TOEFL Score Reports

You can send four free official TOEFL® score reports to universities and colleges that you specify before you take the test (see ‘TOEFL Destinations‘ for a list of institutions to which your score can be sent).

ETS states that you can choose or delete universities to which your free TOEFL score report should be sent by using the TOEFL iBT® online registration system until 10 p.m. (local test center time) on the day before the test. You cannot change or delete score recipients after the 10 p.m. deadline. For every university or college that you select to receive a free score report after the 10 p.m. deadline, you will have to pay US$18.

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Free GRE Score Reports

On the day of the test, after you have completed the test and have viewed your unofficial Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning scores, you will be asked to specify the names of 4 universities or colleges to which ETS will send your GRE General Test scores free of charge. This will be at the test center itself.

If the institution that you want to send your free GRE score to is not listed, you can ask the test center administrator for a form in which you can specify unlisted institutions. If you want the score to be sent to those institutions free, you will have to fill and hand in the form before you leave the test center. It will not be accepted after you leave the test center.

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Free Score Reports for the GRE, GMAT, TOEFL and IELTS Tests

Each of the major tests that students generally take to get higher education in the United States – i.e. the GRE, GMAT, TOEFL tests – allows you to send you scores to a certain number of universities or colleges free of charge.

  • GRE – 4 free score reports
    • names of universities to be specified on the day of the test, immediately after your exam
    • current fee per score report thereafter $ 18
    GMAT – 5 free score reports
    • names of universities to be specified on the day of the test, immediately after your exam
    • current fee per score report thereafter $ 28.00

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