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Is it easy for international students in U.S. find job in college or in university?

  1. Jun 26, 2011 #1
    I am an international graduate student studying in U.S.. I am pretty not sure whether or not it is easy to find job in American university/college (gaining a teaching position) after graduation.

    I come from China, P.R., and now a physics graduate student in U.S.. I still have many years left to fulfill my degree (now just at the very beginning). My interest is in Exact Solutions of Einstein's Field Equation. I think in future I will pursue some study in Quantum Gravity as a post doctor student. I am not sure whether the job is easy to find in this relevant realm.


    If it is impossible to stay in U.S., maybe in future I may try to find job in Europe (I can speak very good German). But I am also not very sure whether it is easy to find physics teaching position in a German speaking countries' institute or university.

    I used to think of Taiwan, but I find that Taiwanese quite dislike Chinese (sinophobia, as you know).
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2011
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  3. Jun 26, 2011 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    Re: Is it easy for international students in U.S. find job in college or in universit

    You will find in America we don't particularly approve of this kind of prejudice. If you are planning on staying here, it would be best if you were to lose it sooner rather than later.

    In the US, a professor might have 10 graduate students in his career. Only one of those ten is needed to replace him when he retires. Same story in Germany.
     
  4. Jun 27, 2011 #3
    Re: Is it easy for international students in U.S. find job in college or in universit

    Which university did you attend in the US?
     
  5. Jun 27, 2011 #4
    Re: Is it easy for international students in U.S. find job in college or in universit

    Perhaps you may express your opinion more generally. I think it not so good to leak my private information here...

    Thanks.
     
  6. Jun 27, 2011 #5
    Re: Is it easy for international students in U.S. find job in college or in universit

    You already said you were a chinese international student, so I thought it might be better if I had more information about you before I make an assumption. Anyways to totally your own choice to tell me your personal info, if you don't want to thats fine, I understand.
     
  7. Jun 27, 2011 #6
    Re: Is it easy for international students in U.S. find job in college or in universit

    I don't think it's any more difficult for foreign nationals to find a university position than for US citizens, except for one thing. How is your spoken English? I know of a couple of Chinese students who came here and worked in a lab where they could speak Chinese with their advisor and other students, they spoke Chinese at home and basically never worked on developing their spoken English beyond being able to communicate at a very basic level. Their written English was good, but I really think their inability to communicate well when speaking was a major part of what made it difficult for them to find a job. My advise to you is to spend as much time as you can around people who primarily speak English and work on making sure that your spoken English is easy to understand by others. Then you shouldn't have too much trouble, assuming everything else is okay.
     
  8. Jun 27, 2011 #7
    Re: Is it easy for international students in U.S. find job in college or in universit


    If I tell you it ranking between 40 to 50, the info does any help to your asspt?

    All in all, it is quite likely that I might go to Germany in future for post doctor degree.

    Perhaps I should work hard enough to be the "strongest" then I can "survive"...

    I totally have no idea.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2011
  9. Jun 27, 2011 #8
    Re: Is it easy for international students in U.S. find job in college or in universit

    It's not, but I think that it's extremely difficult for *anyone* to find a university position.

    I think the major reason people aren't finding jobs in academia is that the jobs aren't there. In industry, the level of college English that most Chinese end up with (and English is a required subject in Chinese schools) is usually sufficient.

    I've found that Chinese that have difficulty communicating in spoken English also have difficulty communicating in spoken Chinese. It's less a language issue than a shyness issue.

    Something else that's interesting is that IM and e-mail changes the dynamics of multi-lingual workspaces. The other thing that is interesting is a generational shift. In the last five years, I've started seeing Chinese that have been in bilingual schools since kindergarten and are native speakers of English.

    Nonsense. Look at the native English speakers born in the US that have problems getting jobs in academia. Personally, I think that the job market in China for physics Ph.D.'s over the next decade is going to be better than the job market in the United States. The big problem is that in 2008-2009, the US made what I think will turn out to be seriously bad economic decisions whereas China made some seriously good economic decisions.
     
  10. Jun 27, 2011 #9
    Re: Is it easy for international students in U.S. find job in college or in universit

    It's not.

    It's not. Also, your chances of finding a job in China are probably much, much larger than finding one in the US.

    A few do, most don't. One thing that I have found is that Taiwanese in the United States universities tend to have more extreme political views than Taiwanese in Taiwan, because if you are in Taiwan, you have to actually make the political system work and live with people that disagree with you.

    This isn't true just with Taiwanese. If you are in a university, it's fine to be a Trotskyist, but if you go into the "real world", you have to make Trotskyism work.
     
  11. Jun 27, 2011 #10
    Re: Is it easy for international students in U.S. find job in college or in universit



    Unfortunately.... Coming back to China would be my last choice and worst choice.
    My parents still expect that in future I can find some way to get them out of China.P.R... My mother is now working (ready to retire) in an university in China, she is quite discontent with the whole system. My father is a very unsuccessful businessman, running business in Guangdong and Hong Kong; he told me that it is hopeless for a young man to succeed in business, without special "political background" (e.g. some of the guy's relatives are very powerful in government, or something else...).

    I have no idea what to do. Alas, ... I think I need to publish more paper; maybe it will help...
     
  12. Jun 27, 2011 #11
    Re: Is it easy for international students in U.S. find job in college or in universit

    You live in a world that is different from the world of your parents. They are living in the past with dreams that just don't make sense now.

    If he is making enough money so that you can even think of leaving China, then he is a successful business person.

    If you need political background, then get political background.

    In China, it's called "guanxi". In the US, it's called "networking." The problem that you will have is that you know who you have to kiss up to in China to get something done, and you probably can figure out very quickly how to do it. In the US, you will have no idea who to make friends with and how to make friends with them.

    The Chinese system is a total mess, with corruption, favoritism, nepotism, and a million problems. But at the end of the day, the jobs are there in China, when they aren't there in the US.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2011
  13. Jun 28, 2011 #12
    Re: Is it easy for international students in U.S. find job in college or in universit

    I think my best policy is to discuss this with Chinese Professors in my department. I can share their experience on how to survive and success in U.S academia. And they could be my "primary" network in U.S..

    Some note-posters here still worry about their jobs.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2011
  14. Jun 28, 2011 #13
    Re: Is it easy for international students in U.S. find job in college or in universit

    That's a good idea, however, you have to realize

    1) times are different for you and them
    2) people that get academic positions are the lucky ones. You also need to talk to people that didn't make it into academia
    3) people in academia can be very uninformed about the situation outside of academia

    Also talk to some recent graduates. Finally, you have to realize that at most we are talking about ten or so jobs each year.

    One other thing, if your primary ambition is to emigrate from the PRC, you should settle for *any* job that will get you a green card. Most theoretical physics Ph.D.'s that I know end up doing something computer related and here we are talking about tens of thousands of jobs rather than ten.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2011
  15. Jun 28, 2011 #14
    Re: Is it easy for international students in U.S. find job in college or in universit



    I just wonder the way you talk is so aggressive. You try to channel or persuasive people to believe as you expect. The way you express your opinions is filled with black-white thinking or trying to put someone else in sort of "dilemma" as you designed. It is the common sense that causal reasoning and/or conditional reasoning should be established upon antecedents.

    I also wonder how you know so much about current China.

    Perhaps I should have come to Chinese Professors in my department much earlier.
     
  16. Jun 28, 2011 #15
    Re: Is it easy for international students in U.S. find job in college or in universit

    yicong2011,

    if your primary goal is to emigrate from China, you may consider Canada. Canada has much more relaxed immigration polices than US. It is also realistic to bring your parents there. In US it sometimes takes many years.

    After graduation you can try to get a postdoc in Canada. Postdoc is usually much easier to find than tenure-track position, and apply for permanent residency in skilled worker category. Your TA experience will count as work experience for the purpose of immigration. The process usually takes one year.

    If you will not find tenure-track position you always may switch to industry, and being permanent resident will release you from need of maintaining your immigration status. If you want to work in US in industry, it is easier to do with Canadian passport than with just Chinese passport. For example, investment banks (type of work that twofish-quant does) will take physics Ph.D with Canadian passport, but will not even talk to you if you already do not have green card or Canadian passport.
     
  17. Jun 28, 2011 #16
    Re: Is it easy for international students in U.S. find job in college or in universit

    Because I've found that I get nowhere if I hold back. You have to be aggressive if you want to get anywhere in business or academia. One problem with the Chinese educational system is that it teaches "pass the test and get the prize." My experience has been that you can pass all of the tests, and no one will care.

    You were the person that asked for advice. If you don't want advice, then don't ask for it. If you don't think my advice is good, then you can ignore it. I'm trying to be helpful, but if you don't think I'm being useful, then you can ignore me and do something else.

    Also, the reason I spend a lot of time and effort to persuade people is that this is what you have to do if you want to make money in business. Ultimately business is about sitting in front of someone and convincing them to give you money. If you want to get someone to do something, you have to explain the situation clearly and powerfully.

    And you can spend decades thinking about a situation and getting nothing done. In business, you have deadlines to keep and decisions to make.

    Also things change and information is uncertain. Sometimes you just have to close your eyes and take a leap of faith. Sometimes you just have to guess. My belief is that the US has made some serious economic mistakes that China hasn't made that are going to cause major, major problems in the next five to ten years. (Read Paul Krugman for the details).

    There are a lot of smart people that disagree with me and think that the Chinese economy is going to blow up. They may be right, but you can spend years thinking about what happens next without a conclusion, or you can at some point say, "this is what I think is going to happen, and I'll conduct my life assuming that this is what is going to happen."

    You meet a lot of different people on the internet.

    Anyhow, the basic facts are this. You can go to AIP and find that the US hires very few professors. There are only several hundred professors hired each year, and in your field, I don't think that there are any more than a dozen positions. You can google to find the right "rumor mill" and I think you'll find what they are.

    You will have higher chance if you go into industry, but that involves learning a lot of new habits.
     
  18. Jun 28, 2011 #17
    Re: Is it easy for international students in U.S. find job in college or in universit

    Right now, this is false. It depends on the bank and the visa quota, but a lot of people get hired on H-1B. If you have a Canadian Passport then you are eligible for the TN visa, and it's easier to get hired, but usually the policy where I work is to figure out who to hire first and then worry about immigration issues later.

    Also this can radically change from month to month. There was a period right after 2007, when no one was hiring. Then, there was a period when people were just hiring but no visa sponsorship. Things are now "back to normal" as far as visa sponsorship goes.
     
  19. Jun 28, 2011 #18
    Re: Is it easy for international students in U.S. find job in college or in universit

    I am talking from my experience of several years ago. I had calls from several recruters and the first question was about immigration status. After they learned that I did not have Canadian citizenship or green card at that time they just would not continue talking to me. As you said it is easier to get hired on TN visa. But things change all the time. Anyway, I decided it is better to have a Canadian citizenship than to be dependent on the mood of employers to hire foreign nationals outside of North America.
     
  20. Jun 28, 2011 #19
    Re: Is it easy for international students in U.S. find job in college or in universit

    Things change :-) :-) :-) Let me guess late-2008?
     
  21. Jun 29, 2011 #20
    Re: Is it easy for international students in U.S. find job in college or in universit

    It was 2007.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 29, 2011
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