# Getting a job in the U.S. with an MEng from Europe.

Hi all,

I'll be graduating with a masters in electrical engineering from Ireland at the end of next year. I am hoping to do a years work (maybe more) in the states immediately after this. I was just wondering if many of you who work over there have had people from abroad coming over to work or is it mostly locally sourced people. What areas of the U.S. could I focus on in my job search and what companies (if any) are actually willing to take on graduates from abroad?

Any advice is appreciated. As you may have gathered, I have never been to the U.S. before but would love the opportunity to work there. I could find a job here in the E.U. quite easily but I feel if I do this I'll never get a chance to go to the U.S. I see the period immediately after I graduate as my best bet.

Thanks.

Staff Emeritus
This is more complicated than it appears. If you are coming in to work, you will need a visa, most likely at H1-B. These have to be initiated by the sponsor (your employer), and the conditions are intended to be sufficiently onerous that this not be overused: it costs the employer of order a few $1000 in fees and legal services, and there are caps. There are complicated rules about entry and re-entry, and often if you enter the US to find a job, and get an H1-B, you have to exit the country and re-enter on it. There is also an L-1, which would be applicable if you took work with a multinational in Ireland, and then were temporarily assigned to the US. This is more complicated than it appears. If you are coming in to work, you will need a visa, most likely at H1-B. These have to be initiated by the sponsor (your employer), and the conditions are intended to be sufficiently onerous that this not be overused: it costs the employer of order a few$1000 in fees and legal services, and there are caps. There are complicated rules about entry and re-entry, and often if you enter the US to find a job, and get an H1-B, you have to exit the country and re-enter on it.

There is also an L-1, which would be applicable if you took work with a multinational in Ireland, and then were temporarily assigned to the US.
There are companies here who offer 1 year work visas to the U.S. subject to an interview and background check which I think shouldn't be a problem. They're the same crowd who give students here visas to go over to the U.S. over the summer. Basically, the visa isn't what I am worried about. What concerns me is that I pay this company the fee, pass the interview/background check, get my visa and then find out I can't find a job in the U.S. because the market is saturated. Note that the main thing about these one year visas is you must be a graduate in some form of technical field, unlike the summer visas where you can just work in a shop/restaurant to make ends meet.

Edit: I looked up the H1-B visa and it seems that this is the most likely way (if any) to be given the opportunity to go to the U.S. In light of this, my question is simply what is the demand like for electrical engineering in the U.S.?

Staff Emeritus
Jobs are tight. You are right to worry that you might not be able to find a job.

Jobs are tight. You are right to worry that you might not be able to find a job.
I thought as much. I'll start applying from September onwards and hope for the best. I'm specifically electrical energy systems and control so hopefully there is something out there for me. Thanks for your help.

StatGuy2000
To the OP:

If I were you, I would suggest you seek employment in Canada, specifically in the province of Alberta, which is currently undergoing an economic boom due to the work in the oil sands and there is a severe labour shortage, particularly for engineers. It is quite common for Irish and British workers to find employment there (often paying relocation costs -- the Irish are especially valued given both the high levels of education for workers from Ireland plus ability to speak English).

I'm not certain about the exact process involved with getting a work visa but if you search online you should be able find some info. My impression is that getting a work visa to Canada is less onerous than getting a similar visa to work in the US, at least for EU citizens.

Actually, getting a visa for Canada can be extremely difficult, mainly because the applications only open once a year and spaces get filled up extremely quickly, sometimes within 30 minutes of opening.

analogdesign
About 50% of the engineers I work with are foreign citizens. I would focus on large multi-national corporations or utilities. Companies such as PG&E, Consolidated Edison, General Electric, and the other usual suspects.

I know the USA and Ireland have a working holiday visa scheme where you can come work for a year. At the very least you could come and try to get an internship and go from there. Depending on the company and how well you do, they might be willing to sponsor you. Plus, you'd get a taste of what it's like living in the USA. I know many people who've moved here only to realize that it's not like they dreamed of... Good luck with your search. The link below has some basic info on the working holiday visa.

http://www.embassyofireland.org/home/index.aspx?id=83296 [Broken]

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I know the USA and Ireland have a working holiday visa scheme where you can come work for a year. At the very least you could come and try to get an internship and go from there. Depending on the company and how well you do, they might be willing to sponsor you. Plus, you'd get a taste of what it's like living in the USA. I know many people who've moved here only to realize that it's not like they dreamed of... Good luck with your search. The link below has some basic info on the working holiday visa.

http://www.embassyofireland.org/home/index.aspx?id=83296 [Broken]
That's pretty much exactly what I want to do.The only difference is that I'd love to have something lined up before I fly out, even something small and I can work my way up from there. I doubt I could afford to not have a job for the first few months. I'll do as the other person said and try the large multi-nationals first and hope for the best.

Thanks everyone for the help.

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To the OP:

If I were you, I would suggest you seek employment in Canada, specifically in the province of Alberta, which is currently undergoing an economic boom due to the work in the oil sands and there is a severe labour shortage, particularly for engineers. It is quite common for Irish and British workers to find employment there (often paying relocation costs -- the Irish are especially valued given both the high levels of education for workers from Ireland plus ability to speak English).

I'm not certain about the exact process involved with getting a work visa but if you search online you should be able find some info. My impression is that getting a work visa to Canada is less onerous than getting a similar visa to work in the US, at least for EU citizens.
I considered this as well but from what I've heard although there are more jobs the visas are a lot more difficult to get your hands on.