I can clearly see the trend reversing I came to US this fall and atleast 30% of my seniors who graduated returned home and are working for top notch companies but off course most of them did not have loans to worry about and people who did not return ended up in consultancies most of them.

So the question is what would you do if you get an offer from a top notch company in India to working for a consultancy here in the US assuming you have an education loan which one would you choose.

America’s Brain Drain

Vinay posted his question to the blog post – never an option of going back home. In that post, there is a 7 minute video that talks about America’s Brain Drain and how Foreign graduate students are going back to home country after getting degree and working in US for several years.

There are several reasons

  • It takes several years to get green card in USA (EB2 and EB3).
  • How Long does it take to get Green Card in USA
  • While green card is in process, employee cannot get promotion
  • H1B workers and those who are waiting for green card cannot start business
  • Dependents (H4) visa holders cannot work

Lets take a student completing engineering in India is coming to US for his Masters degree.

  • Age 23  – Complete his MS in USA.
  • Age 26 – Company files for Green Card. (EB2 or EB3)
  • Age 35+ – Gets Green Card.

Tech professionals who are willing to take risks in life to start business have their hands tied due to green card process. One can get Investors visa, but ideas to create business doesn’t always require 500,000 or 1 Million Dollars in money. When prime age 23 to 35 of one life is wasted without able to start a business or move to higher position is tough.

Some professionals are willing to wait several years, but by the time they get green card, that adventurous spirit might not be there.  They are forced to be ideal without venturing out to implement an idea and make it big. Also, when you get older, you will not be willing to take financial risks.

So, professionals are going back to India and China to be part of their growing economy. Percentage of people going back are less, because they are get used to high quality lifestyle in USA.

As the video says, 81% of Indians live in USA 5 years after completing graduate degree from US universities.

Number of people going back increased in last 2 to 3 years because of downturn in economy. Ofcourse not everyone is going back because of economy, but there can be family reasons and several other reasons. Longer Green Card wait time could be one of the reasons.

30% Graduates Going Back

Looks like you came to USA for Spring 2011 semester. So, you have spent about 1 month in USA. Don’t come to conclusion after observing life around seniors for just 30 days. You are seeing half glass of water as half empty. Why are you not looking at 70% of seniors who are staying (finding jobs).

If you happen to read some of  the older posts, you will learn that your life style in USA is actually shaped by roommates and seniors with whom you associate in first 2 years. Food habits, life style,  exposure to US lifestyle, job search process, internship search, ..etc are directly influenced by friends to certain extent.

Its very hard for you to recognize that, but after few years you will agree to the idea.

Example – Friend of mine was attending university in New Jersey. While I was searching for a job, I asked him about his job search process. He said, I will join consulting company after graduation. I asked why not try for full time jobs. He said that everyone he knew (roomates, seniors,..) don’t search for jobs, they directly join consulting companies.

So, don’t worry about what your friends and seniors are doing. You came to US to study and find a job after graduation. Start working towards your goal. Go and talk to those seniors and ask following questions

  1. Did you build professional job search network?
  2. Have they ever used LinkedIn for job search?
  3. How to Get Started with Twitter for Job Search
  4. Did you start reading books like Ultimate Job Search Guide?
  5. Did they submit resumes through contacts within the company?
  6. Did they have their resume reviewed any professional?
  7. Did they have their resume written by professional?
  8. Did they copy their resume template from their seniors?
  9. When did they start searching for jobs? [ 15 Smart Job Search Techniques]

Look at the positive side of the things and prepare yourself for the corporate world while you are in school. You will run into several negative experiences, but stay focused.



    • Undergrads usually complete their masters too, a college degree is like a high school degree now, everyone has one. Can’t do anything without going to Grad school.

  1. Kaustubh, I will add one more point to your comment.

    I am not sure if ‘Cheap labor’ still applies in current india market. I moved from India to US. So i have some understanding about Job market there. Software boom in our country started due to paved internet lines in sea for thousands of miles connecting third world to US (1988 recession is said to be result of financial burden due to these lines which are not much useful at that time) and educated ‘Cheap labor’.

    But as the time goes on African countries and china became source of cheap educated labor as Salaries and other expenses get increased in India. (Still india work force costs less than US work force .. but this cost advantage reduced significantly compared to 90′s Decade)

    For e.g Apple company got a need to hire some of the engineers..so they have two options. Either two open branch in India or to carry work force from India to US. They did survey about it and they proceeded with later option.

    Still companies coming to india because they need Best engineers to deliver their products.

  2. This is very encouraging. I may be joining Oklahoma State University coming Fall and was very nervous about the job scenario. Education in India is comparative to US, Really!! Again are Indian professionals are really paid what they deserve, is that the cause of outsourcing. Foreign companies come in India for cheap labor because in half of the cases the taxes are more in India than USA

    • Hey Kaustubh, Shaswat here ….Right now I am in stillwater and searching an Indian student. so r u coming to join OSU. please give me a revert.

  3. I used to read HSB blogs. Those are pretty much informative and also interesting.

    Coming to this article, i am confused about summary. I am not sure what point you want to make. It is true that some people returning back to their home countries. It happens due to financial changes across globe. If you get used with quality of life in US, it is difficult to go back and adjust in so called developing countries. Apart from it, there are no strong reasons to stay any longer in US. You get almost half of US salary in india after a couple os years experience. Note that, US high salaries (offocurse after converting to rupees — not really very high but just 2 to 2.5 times than india salaries) are offset by cost of living here. i.e you get almost double money than india but end up spending almost 3 times on living.

    At the end, You still make more money when you stay in US. It is beyond doubt or myth. But it also leads to so many problems. You are staying away from home,missing native food etc. The biggest problem is already mentioned in above article .. Green card. You have to hang out for years to get green card. Till then you don’t have wings to fly in your dream world.

    For some students it is very important to stay in US for example top MBA candidates (for atleast few years). These are special cases.

    If you are just after money and quality of life you don’t consider about going back. Looking for money and quality of life is not bad after all :)
    But if you are after chasing your dreams and visions then consider it.

    As far as i know, US craze gone down. Few years back people ran to US for 10 fold of salaries. But that is not the case any more.

    • Yes Dude,
      U are absolutely True right now in US.
      It could be far better if consultancies are not making business in USA.
      If more number of companies give direct opportunities to fresher’s like MS, MBA & under grad…. thn situation would be entirely different.
      But we have to leave our parents, relatives, friends & home etc so bit burden on heart.

  4. I think people who returned dont return only due to family and friends but also because India today gives you more opportunities and should I say, even better than in US in some cases.

    I graduated from an Ivy and returned to India and I’m glad I made the decision.

    Education in India is on par with the best in US especially the IITs. And companies are making huge investments in India and the cost of living vs income is so good.

    I’m glad I’ve returned where I’m so close to my friends, family and a booming economy!

    Good luck!

    • Another problem – How many students can get into IIT’s and there is a drastic drop in education quality from IIT to other colleges.

      • I agree with you HSB… its only the IITs and IIMS that shine..rest – nobody knows about them.
        No doubt India is booming.. but its not yet at par with the US economy.
        But yes.. I feel glad that some guys like tanvi are giving a helping hand to in the country’s growth.

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