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Some advice required ...

I'm a final year student of computer engineering here in Pakistan , i was planning to do my masters from USA . I like programming very much , i've studied C,Java , C# and was studying Lisp currently , but someone told me that part time programming jobs are very difficult to find while studying and it would be much better if I concentrated more on the network side .

I will be needing assistanceship or some part time job to cover the studying expenses .

What would you people suggest ??

Mohammad Atif
Thursday, March 4, 2004

Most U.S. Universities have a work/study program, so you can teach or help with undergraduate classes, or assist with research (usually programming) for either money or reduced tuition. Check with the school's web site...

Thursday, March 4, 2004

Well, one question: are you doing your masters for interest, or under the belief that you need one in order to work?

Others may have different experiences, but I rarely run into developers with Masters degrees.

If, on the other hand, you are pursuing the degree out of a desire to do research, or just out of interest, then perhaps you could check if there are paid part time IT, teaching assistant, or even development opportunities at the university you are going to attend.

Just a thought.

Thursday, March 4, 2004

The Homeland Secutity Dept. (Formerly Immigration and Naturalization Service) has rather strict rules on whether university students can "work" while going to school on a student visa.

If one has a school sponsored job, for instance working in the library part time, that is fine, but to seek professional employment is verboten.

In one case recently an African basketball player at a division 1 school was staying in the US during the summer break to get more experience playing ball against Americans instead of returning home between school semesters. So to support himself he sought a job at a local restaurant. This was not allowed under his student visa, and not only was he almost deported, but his employer was fined for hiring an "illegal" immigrant.

Be certain that the type of visa you apply for does not restrict your ability to work your way through school. Know the terms under which you enter and don't assume you are free to do as you wish.

Thursday, March 4, 2004

Agree with Rick.

Graduate programs are very experienced with this problem. In the program that I was involved in, everyone doing a graduate degree had access to research money through their professor. Sometimes there was actual work involved, but quite often it was seen as more of a grant.

I would give a call to the grad office of the universities that you're talking to, as well as the professors you'll be involved with.

Thursday, March 4, 2004

As an International Student on an F1 Visa (Others - no Idea) you are Eligible for 20 hours/week of on-campus Employment.

Assistantships are highly  competitive as are the Jobs!

Based on your Area of Interest you could start contacting Professors - to get a head start!

Good Luck!

Thursday, March 4, 2004

As to "are you doing your masters for interest, or under the belief that you need one in order to work?"

Foreign developers in the US often get a master's from a US university. It seems to give employers a known way to evaluate their education, versus a university abroad that they may know nothing about. Also, it lets an employer know that the person is used to living in the US.

Exception guy
Thursday, March 4, 2004

The reason why I am planning for Masters is that the computer field here ( Pakistan ) is highly saturated and thus pretty competitive ( i dont know about USA ) , and I think that having a masters in computers from a good university should go a long way in giving a boost to my career .

Mohammad Atif
Thursday, March 4, 2004

You think wrong. I've got a masters in CS, and mostly it gets ignored as far as I can tell. It made absolutely zero difference in my salary. I'm just glad I didn't have to pay for the degree out of my own pocket.

Chris Tavares
Thursday, March 4, 2004

Well, perhaps it would make a difference in Pakistan, assuming Mohammad intends on returning after graduation.  He should probably check with local employers/developers to get their thoughts about the merits of an advanced degree.

Robert Jacobson
Thursday, March 4, 2004

On an F1 visa you can work 20 hours a week for the school. I worked as a math grader, developer, and research assistant throughout college. I got some truly great jobs in college. Another benefit of working the full 20 hours was that I then only had to pay in-state tuition, instead of the much higher tuition they charge international students.

I also worked summers, and had two internships outside of school. As an F1 student you can work up to one year on CPT (curricular practical training) in your field of study while studying, and after you finish your studies you can work for a year on your F1 visa on OPT (optional practical training).

I did all of this, graduated, got a job initially on OPT and switched over to H1B after I finished my undergrad degree. My company is also sponsoring a green card.

However, I think today it's very hard for the average person to find an employer to sponsor a visa. I was very lucky.

(And if anyone's wondering -- no, we're not hiring, so there's no use emailing me.)

Thursday, March 4, 2004

Since some people obviously can't read, I'll repeat: Don't email me looking for a job. We're NOT hiring.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

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