Job Opportunity in United States
■ Work visa
It is not possible to get a Working Visa (OPT or H1B) while studying in the U.S.A (your visa will be F1). The only part-time job you can get is on campus, which means you must work for the University you study if you want to do some job. Don’t worry, there are plenty of part-time opportunities on campus. If you are going under some extreme financial hardship, then you are able to apply for working off-campus.
■ Employment upon graduation
International students should start preparing themselves for getting a job at least one year before graduation. A good start is to find companies that offer internships and check if they are willing to sponsor a working license visa for expat employees. You can ask for help to your College’s International Office and Career Support Center, they probably already know some companies and can give information regarding VISA.
During your course, remember to meet a lot of people and create a good network. It is said that 70% of jobs are filled through connections. Don’t run out of hope and work hard to get your dream job.
■ Work environment
Work environment in the U.S.A is informal. Dress code isn’t strict unless the company says so. Relationships between bosses and subordinates aren’t strictly hierarchical and everyone respects each other.
Companies in the U.S. do a lot of meetings, which are tools for discussing plans and taking minor decisions as well big meetings which might affect a whole department (or company!). Most people arrive and leave on time and they give a lot of importance to their free time and work life balance. Depending on your job you might have to work on weekends and sometimes work after-hours. People tend to not get into their colleagues’ private business, so try to focus your working time while at work.
■ Outplacement rate
After graduation from University, you will probably be eligible for getting a OPT (Optional Practical Training) VISA. After getting the OPT VISA, you will be able to work at any place that is related to the field of your major. The standard period of duration of this VISA is 12 months, up to 29 months depending on your field.
If you find a company willing to sponsor you, then the VISA will be H1B, allowing you to work for three years, but the position and employer can’t change unless the process is done again.
In 2010, 668,513 F-1 visas were approved. In the same year, 26,502 H-1B Visas were approved, and 19,922 of them were for Graduate degree holders.
The unemployment rate in the U.S.A is 6.7%.