8 Options If You Can’t Find A Job After M.S. in USA

no job after masters in usa

Did you ever think about

  • What if I don’t get a job after completing Masters in USA?
  • What options are there I don’t get a job?
  • How can I pay the loan if I don’t get the job in USA?
  • What if I don’t get selected in the H1B lottery?

Parth asked the following question at Google Plus Page.

Hey!! I wanted to know more about job prospects after completion of post graduate in computer science in USA. What if I Don’t get a job? And Even if i do get a job, what about my VISA after studies? will it be h1b visa?

First let’s look at the road map to work visa from F1 Student Visa.

Road Map to Your Job in USA

Path 1 (without internship)

  • Come to USA in F1 Visa
  • F1 Visa (Student) till your Graduate.
  • Apply for EAD (or OPT Card)
  • Receive OPT  Card with new I-2o
  • Find a job using OPT within 90 days of OPT Start date.
  • Company applies for your H1B Visa

Path 2 (with internship)

  • Come to USA in F1 Visa
  • Apply for Internship and get Intern offer
  • Get CPT approved with new I-20 ( CPT Guide )
  • Graduate with Masters degree
  • Apply for EAD (or OPT Card)
  • Receive OPT  Card with new I-2o
  • Find a job using OPT within 90 days of OPT Start date.
  • Company applies for your H1B Visa

What if you can’t find a job within 90 days of OPT start date?

Options After MS in USA

There are several options if you can’t find a job after graduating getting Masters degree in USA.

  1. Continue your studies with PhD
  2. Continue your studies with second Masters degree (OPT is not available for second Masters degree)
  3. Continue your studies with MBA ( OPT is not available for second Masters degree )
  4. Find a job in another country
  5. Move back to your home country
  6. Marry an American Citizen or Permanent Resident
  7. Enroll in programs (not MS, MBA or PhD) to get I-20 to maintain status and continue job search
  8. This option is NOT Recommended and I’m not going to write it here.

Its tough to pay several thousand dollars in education loan if you happen to go back to India or your home country.

Indian salary maybe high compared to your peers with same experience, but it will take several years to pay off the loan.

Can you think of any other options to stay legally in USA if you can’t find a job?

Update 1

4 More Options as Per Munna

  1. change to dependent visa (F-2 or H-4 visa) if your spouse is student or working here.
  2. Look at J-1 visa possibility at your university or academic H-1B visa at research stations associated with your university system.
  3. extend your course by one semester.
  4. Desi consultancy

Image Credit


  1. Raghunath Vadey on April 22, 2017 at 10:57 AM

    I am currently pursuing my masters in mechanical engineering in the USA now, and as I write this message, my 1st semester is about to be over in this may. I took 3 subjects in the first sem that is 9 credits are over, and now I am left with 21 credits. how should I complete those? like should I take some credits in this summer? or should I take one subject in next summer?
    a reply would be deeply appreciated.
    Thank you

  2. nikhil on January 7, 2017 at 2:36 AM

    HI, I hope you doing great.
    I have 1 question. I’ve already finished my masters in computer science(as usual) from USA.right now I am on opt period.but our college is in a little trouble(ACICS Accreditation-NPU college).my opt period is going to end in aug-2017, so if I don’t get h1-visa in this April(mostly m not gonna get it).what options do I have?I am thinking about doing MBA from Canada now.so if any 1 can guide me a little bit.it would be amazing.

  3. Hermoine on July 8, 2014 at 11:07 PM


    I was wondering if there are any teaching opportunities for international students after completion of Masters.

    Thank you.

  4. prashu on June 5, 2014 at 10:34 PM

    hi raghu i am in virginia i want to do ms in cse or it can u give me the list of colleges that dont need gre plz help us we appriciate

    • sam on August 5, 2014 at 2:58 PM

      hi prashu, I know an institute located in CA. you can email me @ [email protected] for more details. Regards,Sam

  5. Denise on May 6, 2013 at 7:03 PM

    Hi, I applied for a MS in Civil Eng. and I got accepted. However, since I want to get ready for my chances of getting into the OPT program, I found it is really hard to find companies that will hire or sponsor a working visa. While I was doing my research I also found that the OPT program can get extended for additional 17 months if hired by a E-verify employer. How can I find sponsors or companies that are willing to hire Master students under this conditions?

  6. nithin on February 2, 2013 at 9:01 AM

    hi i completed my b.tech in eee. if i do ms in canada do i get a good career in my field. do i get a good job there to be well settled. please guide me

  7. Anil on September 25, 2012 at 11:21 AM

    how many percent of the students don’t get job in US after MS and they come back to India empty handed?

  8. nawaz on September 11, 2012 at 5:54 AM

    1.I finished my Ms in Civil Engg from a US university. But, as I could find a job in civil, had to work in IT for a few days. Now, I am planning for a masters in Computers Science as the future of Civil seems to be dark in the USA.I was thinking of going to Canada for that as I had heard that it is cheaper to to Masters there, compared to the US and also, I heard that you can get a PR withing two years to joining Masters. Is that true?

    2. Do I have to take GRE and TOEFL again for Canada when I already have a Masters from USA?

    • munna on September 11, 2012 at 2:24 PM

      you can get Canada PR with your USA masters degree in Civil. apply now and till you get it say 2 years, you can work on OPT in USA.

      • Amit Ratwani on January 10, 2018 at 2:22 PM

        Hi Munna,
        I am little intrigued by your reply, I would really appreciate if you could tell me more about this opportunity. How can I reach you FB/Email/etc. whichever you prefer

    • munna on February 24, 2016 at 12:48 AM

      hi nawaz,

      did you complete masters in computer engineering?

  9. aries on June 22, 2012 at 9:50 PM


    Have some query for standardized exams. (like sat, gre, toefel) What exam do i need to take for taking bachelor degree ?pls reply

    • maddox on September 11, 2012 at 1:02 PM

      sat exam + Toefl Exam

  10. Luther on June 12, 2012 at 3:19 AM


    I have few queries , I could not ask as a seperate query as queries are disabled.

    1. My sister’s H1b petition is approved and she has to go for stamping soon, even I have to go for my F1 stamping,
    is it ok if my sister and I go for stamping on the same day? I mean , wil it be a problem if they find out that siblings might go to the US together .plz suggest!!!!!!!!

    2. I am taking sabbatical leave from my organization , I DON’T intend to come back as I can resign the job anytime , but still I have an option of working in the same company in the US (provided they sponsor my H1b) .
    Is that a good enough reason to mention in the interview that I would come back to india as I have availed sabbatical leave?

    Kindly repy!!

  11. Sagar on June 11, 2012 at 4:52 AM

    the name says “happy schools blog”
    but the articles are getting more and more morose…ironic, ain’t it?

    • Robert on June 14, 2012 at 6:59 PM

      Hey, it’s betterif you are prepare for the reality that is gonna come in a future.

  12. kenneth on June 10, 2012 at 11:50 PM

    People need to be optimistic.Not getting a job during OPT is not a punishment.As someone once stated,international students have little time (2) years only.To try and build contacts…even if you are good at getting contacts to get a job, time is not on your side.i would say anything goes.

  13. sam on June 10, 2012 at 10:20 PM

    How easy finding your lover in the states? ‘coz of the cultural differences?

    • Rushika on June 11, 2012 at 8:23 AM

      If you’re hygienic and speak EXCELLENT english (excellent by american and british definition, not indian) without that thick Indian accent rendering you incomprehensible, you can get any chick.

      I’m a woman by the way, so that’s my perspective.

      • KUSHAL on June 11, 2012 at 3:11 PM

        Hey Rushika just want to know more about how to improve my English speaking ability…can you clarify as to what exactly is excellent English and what does it comprise of …is it the communication part or the accent part…should it be American accent to impress colleagues/friends?

      • Rithwik on December 16, 2015 at 7:37 AM

        Your Comment * Haha Lol… Good Suggestion šŸ™‚ šŸ™‚ Thnqq

    • munna on June 13, 2012 at 3:41 PM

      guyz-avoid moustache and beard

      • nawaz on September 11, 2012 at 5:49 AM

        One way to improve is….something that I have found to have helped. KEEP AWAY FROM INDIANS (for some time :)). When I said Indians, I meant those who just came from Indian and have some affection with funny indian accent. I have seen some living here for 20+ years but still speak in Indian accent. Make American friends/roommates instead. If you think you will not be comfortable, look for some Desi American citizens.( Indian parents but born and brought up in USA). (some Hyderabadis call them ABCDs ;)). But if you live, go out with Indians who have some irritation with American accent, you will never be able to improve your accent. I believe in one thing ‘Speak a language in its accent, not your accent. Dont speak Hindi in American accent and dont speak English in Indian’ .

  14. selva on June 10, 2012 at 10:09 PM

    I completed my B.E(E.E.E) last year(2011) with 72.5%. My GRE score is 1030 (q-710,v-320) which is valid for another 4years. I want to do MS or MBA in USA or Germany or in any other country. At present i am working in one of the top 3 IT company in India. Now i have 1 year work experience. I am in a great dilemma whether to continue to work for 2 to 3 years and then to go for higher studies or to go immediately. Whether the job experience will help me to get admission.Then my U.G is in electrical field and my job experience is in software. I am confused whether to do MS in EEE or CS. pls help.

    • ram on June 11, 2012 at 11:57 PM

      i hve similar query … i’ve comlpltd my btech now.. recruited in IT ( of top 3 companies) and i want plan my masters in CS after working 1 yr.. how do i plan for it nd my UG is CS background I am totally confused please help..

    • Sivakumar on June 12, 2012 at 2:06 AM

      Hi Ram and Selva, With Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago (IIT C) there is an option to start your program and complete it on Campus. This is a hybrid option. You may wish to check this out.

  15. Emmanuel on June 10, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    i guess all the options are valid,even the 8th option whatever it is.

  16. Parth on June 10, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    Thanks for taking time to answer my query. Belonging to a middle class family pay back of education loan is always something to be thought of in advance.
    Any way I have one more question..its about academics…If during my undergraduate in computer science in India i get a CGPA of 7.1/10, is it good enough? I know we can’t convert CGPA to GPA and that part is to be left to the universities, but still with this much marks, can i aspect to get into say university of california or university of pennsylvania . I have also got good reviews about university of waterloo in canada. With this much CGPA how to determine which universities are right for me.

    • Sarwesh Suman on June 11, 2012 at 5:51 AM

      Hello Partha,

      What is the GRE score you are expecting ?

      I too have heard good reviews of UP and UC but the thing is that studying in UP would cost around 28L of tuition fees and 8-10L of living expenditures…. šŸ™

  17. Anirban on June 10, 2012 at 1:29 PM

    Can anyone please write what to do if u don’t find a job after PhD?

    • munna on June 10, 2012 at 8:08 PM

      Ph.D. is very field specific. Opportunities vary for people say doing Ph.D. in Optics or say doing Ph.D. in horticulture. Nevertheless, they have an option of doing Post-Doctoral studies and so they can hang on for some time. if they dont get a job in industry, Ph.D. students normally stay for Post doc at the same university where they have graduated for some time to complete publications with their advisors. students from biology field can look at post doc opportunities in hospitals. students from agriculture fields normally get post doc positions in USDA agriculture research stations. remember salary is going down, I have seen post docs getting salary as low as 1600 dollars per month. It all depends on research funding. some unlucky people are returning back to india after 4-5 years as post docs as being unable to find job in industry. But I know two of my friends-one in Optics and one in Electronics getting great jobs in California after their Ph.D.

  18. maddox on June 10, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    let me guess aren’t you asking to vanish in the thin year , just disappear; well i guess that’s the eighth option , but its pathetic; even more than the sixth. HSB should seriously consider before posting such comments.

    • HSB on June 10, 2012 at 1:15 PM

      I have 2 friends ( I had dinner with them yesterday). He came from India for his MS. Found a American/India girl here. They got married in India couple of years back. So, option 6 is perfectly ok, if you find the right person.

      What if you want to get marred just to stay in USA? It depends on the persons situation and why they are so desperate to stay in USA, but I wouldn’t be doing that.

      • Ayo MICHAELS on June 10, 2012 at 4:03 PM

        Keep doing what you do HSB. You are doing an awesome job. You are most appreciated!

      • gaurav sharma on June 11, 2012 at 6:30 AM

        It means we should start dating from the first semester.
        But what if a guy is already in a relationship.
        A big reason to worry.
        Jokes apart.
        I want to thank HSB for helping us.
        may god bless you

        • piyush bandil on June 12, 2012 at 12:41 AM

          no gaurav really its a big reason to worry ……
          because most of the graduate students are in relationship from their graduation , so what would they do either forget their past and seeking for future or came back to india and being in relationship with their past and fell the burden of loan on his head….
          plz guided me on this …..
          i also request to HSB to give their opinion on this…

      • Rushika on June 11, 2012 at 8:30 AM

        Nothing wrong with interracial marriages if there’s really affection behind it. Marrying solely for a green card, however, doesn’t depend on the person’s situation, it is quite simply reprehensible.

        • KUSHAL on June 11, 2012 at 3:26 PM

          Ruchika can you please clarify each of the following cases just to keep myself abreast of rules & regulations in USA:-

          1.If an Indian Male marries a female U.S. citizen, who is by birth of Indian origin…would he qualify for a green card?

          2.If an Indian Male studying in US on f1 visa, marries a female having a green card,who is by birth of Indian origin…would he qualify for a green card?

          3..If an Indian Male, studying in US on f1 visa, marries a female U.S. citizen, who is by birth of American origin…would he qualify for a green card or would he qualify for a becoming a permanent resident?

          4. If an Indian Male,studying in US on f1 visa, remains single ..how long must he wait in US to get: a) green card b) permanent residency permit

          • HSB on June 11, 2012 at 3:28 PM

            > If an Indian Male,studying in US on f1 visa, remains single ..how long must he wait in US to get: a) green card b) permanent residency permit

            1 year to 70 years depending on the category your GC will be filed.

          • Rushika on June 11, 2012 at 10:59 PM

            Love your responses HSB. 70 years.. !!

            Btw, Kushal, PR permit and green card are the same if I’m not wrong.

          • HSB on June 11, 2012 at 11:50 PM

            Latest report for EB3 for Indian Citizens shows 70 years. PR and GC are the same.

          • Rushika on June 14, 2012 at 5:43 AM

            What’s EB3, is it skilled worker category excluding Phd’s? And also, what do you estimate the time to be for a GC if an Indian marries an American citizen?

          • munna on June 13, 2012 at 7:23 AM

            1. If she is citizen (no matter white, black, yellow, brown), you will get Green Card in 6 months.
            2. You may have to wait 5-6 years for green card or wait till she becomes citizen and then 6 more months. You dont get green card in six months just because your spouse is green card-Long waiting line is there.
            3. See 1 above.
            4) It depends on the category for Green card filed. Under EB-3 category, people are waiting since 2003. HSB is right, wait upto 70 years is possible. Under EB-2 you can say atleast 5 years after you file for green card.

  19. Shree on June 10, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    Hi HSB,

    Can you please elaborate on the 2 nd and 3rd options? The problem is would have already take a huge loan for the 1st MS degree . As far as I know, I dont think any bank would offer another loan for a second MS or MBA if you dont clear off the existing loan. Please clarify if there is any other way to do this.

    • rajarshi ray on June 11, 2012 at 12:35 PM

      shree, don’t get into the death trap called education loan. the bank will take away your house. do you want to live the rest of your life in streets with your parents? i am not discouraging you, but stressing you to think about “what if”, what would you do in that worst case situation? as a matter of fact, i feel that we students should start a nationwide campaign, so that the law could be amended and the indian government start doling out loans directly to the student body – along the lines of fafsa. we see a lot of discussion going about corruption but why the today’s youth is silent about a hangman’s rope called education loan? both housing and education are basic needs and their respective interest rates needs to be brought down under 5%. a person can live without a car and if they want they can jack up its interest rate. as much as i know the government in usa also forgives the repayment if a native american didn’t get a job after graduation. we need similar framework in india and we should start working on it by using the collective power of youth.

      • piyush bandil on June 12, 2012 at 12:48 AM

        rajarshi you are right we should have to start some campaign to over come this……

        • shubham chaturvedi on December 4, 2012 at 1:13 AM

          yes you are right . i have searched out in many country ,no country
          has high interest rate on edu loan like india….around 15 %.in USA
          only 7% and china only 4.5%.

      • munna on June 13, 2012 at 7:17 AM

        Student loan in USA for americans is not forgiven if they fail to get a job or even if you declare bankruptcy. american students know that. In USA education (university) is a business and government is a party to it. By the way Indian govt provides subsidised/cheap education to everybody qualified to study in government colleges in India. You can check at your local degree college-BA, Bcom, Bsc or even government run engineering college or medical college. how much tuition/fees they charge. very little as compared to american universities. If you think that Indian governemnt should give you loan to study in USA and then forgive the loan, that is very absurd, lunacy.

  20. Ramesh on June 10, 2012 at 12:52 PM

    Well, you should have written this -“This option is NOT Recommended and Iā€™m not going to write it here.” instead of your 6th option “Marry an American Citizen or Permanent Resident “. This option is lame and totally unethical. I am aware that many people do this but it is just a desperate shortcut to stay in USA and shows well enough that one was not capable and manly to get a job. I suppose reputed websites like HSB should not publish such shortcuts .Some might think this is a practical way to stay in USA but totally unethical.

    • HSB on June 10, 2012 at 1:04 PM

      Ethical or unethical depends on the person. If a person finds a partner and if they are willing to get married, then its their decision.

      Plus its my job is talk about all the possible options that I can think. If its good, bad, legal or illegal is something readers have to decide. Things that I write here are my opinions.

      • maddox on June 10, 2012 at 1:12 PM

        Oh Common we live in a democracy and everyone’s got the right to say their things; He is just discussing about all the possibilities.

    • Ayo MICHAELS on June 10, 2012 at 4:24 PM

      Ramesh, What HSB is trying to say is , if you GENUINELY meet somebody with a residency status ,you can go ahead and marry them,not for the purpose of getting residency but because you actually love,adore and respect the person,I see no reason why the option should be ruled out. Its all about the intent for which it was done.

      Personally, i’m from west Africa, but I don’t see myself marrying from any other race(Not trying to be racist or anything) its just my personal principle, I will rather go home and marry from my clan, that being said if I meet someone here in the states that fulfill my criteria as a wife and mother of my kids, nothing stops me from doing it and I don’t judge people who so it as well. As long as its for the right reasons!!

    • Ramesh on June 10, 2012 at 5:06 PM

      Well ! again the article is about options after MS if we don’t get job, so the obvious implication is that one marries someone only because he/she does not get job. If someone has found their soul mate , then it is perfectly fine to marry anyone. And my point here is people follow HSB’s opinions as they are shrewd. But such opinions on this website might lead someone to think about that option seriously. Would it not be better that such options are not published in first place ?

      • HSB on June 10, 2012 at 6:09 PM

        If that’s the case there shouldn’t be any sites in the world right?

        • Ramesh on June 10, 2012 at 11:01 PM

          May be , I was not clear when I wrote this : “Would it not be better that such options are not published in first place ?” . Here I referred to the option 6 only not all other 7 options, which you suggested. Correct advises are which everyone seeks and websites with correct advises must be there. And I feel HSB is one of them.

          • HSB on June 10, 2012 at 11:20 PM

            Appreciate the value you have for HSB. I want to give candid, complete picture of a topic and don’t want to hide facts because its not ethical.

          • KUSHAL on June 11, 2012 at 3:36 PM

            Having complete knowledge is always safer and better than having half knowledge which is dangerous.

  21. MB on June 10, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    The 8th option is everything about getting illegal (work, status etc.) so it’s not recommended.

    That’s my wild guess.

  22. munna on June 10, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    1) change to depemdent visa (F-2 or H-4 visa) if your spouse is student or working here.
    2) Look at J-1 visa possibility at your university or academic H-1B visa at research stations associated with your university system.
    3)extend your course by one semester.
    4)Desi consultancy

  23. Sahiba on June 10, 2012 at 12:29 PM

    I am more curious to know 8th option.

  24. xyz on June 10, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    Well, if you’re not writing there, you can mention it in comments area. What’s the 8th option?

    • munna on June 10, 2012 at 12:39 PM

      8th option is “out of status” in my opinion which people should never think of.

    • zzz on June 10, 2012 at 12:43 PM

      Its tough to pay several thousand dollars in education loan if you happen to go back to India or your home country, thats the 8th option xyz šŸ˜›

    • Barabek on June 10, 2012 at 12:45 PM

      I believe it’s illegal stay šŸ™‚

    • piyush bandil on June 12, 2012 at 12:57 AM

      I think 8 option would be came back to india and join the moment with anna hazare at least we can do somthing for our country and if our wishes came true then it would help in repay our loan…..

  25. Sri on June 10, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    6.Marry an American Citizen or Permanent Resident …..LOL

    • munna on June 10, 2012 at 12:42 PM

      lot of difference in marrying american citizen and permanent resident (green card).one gets work permit within 6 months in case of citizen but very long wait if your spouse is green card.

    • rajarshi ray on June 10, 2012 at 1:03 PM

      for the uninitiated, 8th option is going back to india and become a ghar-jamai ( resident son-in-law ), hahaha! šŸ˜€

      • ila on June 12, 2012 at 1:19 PM

        GOOD ONE RAJARSHI……….Resident son in law…………..ha ha ha ha ………:D

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