[Assam] Secret Calculations of US Indian IT masters students

umesh sharma jaipurschool at yahoo.com
Mon May 21 10:16:13 PDT 2007

  Yesterday I had a chance of going out with a few maters grad students and recent grads to see places in DC incl www.ssvt.org . One was a recent grad in Journalism from Salt Lake City , Utah though hailing originally from Salt Lake City, Kolkata, India!! Our discussions nearly gave me a sour throat -so much to talk. He had worked at UNI, Delhi and was a graduate of India's premeir IIMC (Indian Inst. of Mass Communication) and was a scholarship cum TA recepient. Currently i DC looking for a job.
  Others were all IT/Telecom grad students as are most of my new room/house mates all from big Indian cities . I am surprised how much they can afford to spend on branded clothes , even cars (under $1000) but I imagine that since Delhi and Mumbai have land prices equal to those of DC or New York they can afford it -- alongwith paying tuition in full (28,000 USD or Rs14 lakhs) -from own pocket or Indian student loans - a regular thing for their city folks I am told - esp for programs  in IT/ Telecom. A large number have no work experience - straight here after bachelors degree in India (mostly non-IITs, noon RECs)
  CALCULATIONS: I am told that even from lower rung US Univs like www.gmu.edu or www.umd.edu telecom and IT grads get average pay packets of $60,000 per year (95% get jobs within one year of graduation - inlc work visa sponsors) However, many students are so confident of getting jobs fast that intend to apply for H1B work visas within 9 weeks of graduation (strange system of allowing graduation in December - most univs inlc Harvard allow general graduation in June/May). Students can work in US for a Year on OPT visa but many choose to just work 3 months get a job and sponsor and apply for the ever-shrinking visa rate.
  Even if they have to go back to India - I am told they can expect pay packets of Rs 3 lakh per year atleast ($6,000) for a start. As you know one can live well on $2000 pa in India. Still they can pay of the student loan of $30,000 in a few years. 
  Ofcourse IITians etc can expect scholarships for PhD - just after bachelors -like the one I met at Stanford Univ inside a bus shuttle ( http://cs.stanford.edu/People/phd_students ) - a grad from IIT Mumbai in CS. But there are a lot of Indian students who have found workable calculations to pay for their US IT/Telecom education.
  Any comments?

Umesh Sharma

Washington D.C. 

1-202-215-4328 [Cell]

Ed.M. - International Education Policy
Harvard Graduate School of Education,
Harvard University,
Class of 2005



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