H1B visas not to hit Indian job prospects: US academics
BENGALURU: Allaying fears that the proposed curbs on H1-B visa application process would make it difficult for future Indian students to make it to the US workforce, a group of US academicians have said that the new terms would indeed be beneficial for Indian applicants.
According to Dr Patrick Phelan, Assistant Dean of Graduate Programmes, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, Arizona State University (ASU), the thinking of the Trump administration is to raise the standards of the H1-B visa holders.
“With Indian candidates, especially from the engineering domain, possessing strong basics and valuable job experience, they would always be in demand in the American industry,” he said. However, a recent study by the National Foundation for American Policy found that the number of Indian students enrolling in U.S varsities for Computer Science and Engineering have fell by 21% in the last year.
Reacting to this, Moninder Holly Singh, Senior Director of International Students and Scholars Center, ASU blamed the widespread perception that the US is not welcoming anymore. “It is not true that post-education benefits there are changing. The perceptions that revolve around the H1-B visa process is not a reality. With over 70% of the emerging jobs in the US stemming out in the field of computing (software engineering, computer science, IT and others), there is no dearth for opportunities for Indian students,” he said.
Indian candidates are well appreciated by recruiters and the market in the US as not many STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) majors are available there.With the computing field there having a ‘highly paid’ reputation, Indian students who primary worry about paying off student loans can be confidentially optimistic, said Dr Sohum Sohoni, Assistant Professor of Engineering and Computing Systems at ASU.
“With the STEM OPT (Optional Practical Training) extension in hand allowing international students to work for three years, this tension can be easily overridden even if one fails to get through the H1-B process after three lottery chances,” he said.
One needs to update knowledge
With 60% of the jobs in the next 10 years are yet to be created, the ability to learn and update one’s knowledge at a constant pace even after graduation becomes essential, the delegation opined.
“While students graduate from varsities at the US, we equip them to facilitate their future learning themselves with the completion of the degree acting as a starting point for the same,” Dr Phelan elaborated.
The delegation was in a chat with Deccan Chronicle at the sidelines of a student recruitment drive and interaction session with admitted graduate students and
potential graduates, held in the city.