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Working as an electrical engineering : Greece or USA ?

  1. Aug 18, 2007 #1
    I've graduated as Electrical Engineer in Athens, Greece (Athens polytechnic). I have relatives in U.S. They urge me to come and work in the US because i'll take more money (double the money i get in Greece). But some other people tell me that in the US it's true that you take more money, but it is more stressful - so by working all day long, you make money that you don't enjoy. In the contrary in Greece you may make 4000 dollars (while in the US 30.000 dollars) but live a less stressful life. What do you think ?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 18, 2007 #2


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    I would take the oppertunity to live and work in another country, especially now that you are young and don't have children/mortgage etc.

    It might not be easy to get a job as an EEng in the states - and you probably don't want to move their to drive a cab.! It depends where your realatives live, but check out companies near there to approach.
    The non-immigrant (temporary) visa H1 is very hard to get. there are a limited number of places and big companies like Intel/MS snap them all up almost instantly. Relatives in the USA can sponsor you - but I thought that was only if you wanted to move there permanently and I don't know how long it takes.

    Don't worry about what you earn now - you have a long career to make some money! But having said that a couple of years in the USA will give you some savings to travel or start a life in Greece.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2007
  4. Aug 18, 2007 #3
    Thank you for the answer. I am 23 years old and my relatives in the US live in New Jersey area. In Greece we think that in US people get paid a lot more , but life there is more stressful (working all day long, feeling insecure that anytime the company can fire you) than in europe , and especially in greece (in a private company here you might work all day long, but you feel more secure of not firing you).
    Taking the decision to move to another country, especially in the US is a huge decision so that is why i ask , so that you tell me the reality of the u.s.
  5. Aug 18, 2007 #4


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    I'm a Brit, I have worked in the US but only in academic jobs.
    You will work longer hours (50+ week) especially as a new/young employee - much more if you work in software and you will only get 1-2 weeks holiday a year.
    US salaries are comparable to / slightly higher than Germany/UK and you generally pay less tax - although you have to pay medical and pension yourself.
    If you work for a big international company you will probably get promotion and experience much faster than if you were in Greece and would probably be able to move back home a few years as a manager!

    ps. Don't be tempted to just go and visit your relatives as a tourist and take a job - the US is very strict on this now and you could get banned from ever visiting the USA again, which is a big problem if you wnat to work in a techncial field.
  6. Aug 20, 2007 #5
    Hi !!! I was recently thinking of doing the opposite...don't ask...moving from Canada to Greece to get a physics job (postdoc) but then I turned it down because it was too scary to imagine living in a different place.
    I think the experience abroad can be very valuable PROVIDED the job is secured beforehand. You are young and I think a job where you work intensely for a few years can be manageable.
    Another option is to enrol in a US school to do a masters.
    A third option is to come to Canada...but you have no relatives here I am guessing...I think the workplace is less intense than in the US. My parents are from Greece and I hear Greece is a nice place to live IF you can secure a good position in your field (and you don't need hospital care LOL). The university you graduated from is known for producing some top people. If that's you, that is, able to get a good job, then I would stay put or like I said, go abroad to do a masters at a top school, since your educational background is very good.
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2007
  7. Aug 20, 2007 #6


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    I'm a US Army brat -- that means that my dad was career Army, and as a child and juvenile and young teenager, I was part of the Army family. We moved all over the world to follow my dad in his assignments, and travelling and moving and adapting to new places became second nature to me. I think there is value in becoming comfortable with moving and adapting and learning new places, as long as you are doing it as part of something positive (as opposed to a forced evacuation like away from a disaster or something).

    For example, because I was very comfortable with travelling and moving and learning new areas, it was no big deal for me to get flown around after undergrad EE for interviews, and I knew what to look for in the extra days that I stayed (on my own dime) in potential new places where I might move to for a new job (after I was done with the remote interviews, I always stayed an extra day or two to look around and explore the area). And when it came time to relocate, that was no big deal, since I'd been part of moving multiple times as a kid. If it's your first big move to go to a new job, the mechanics and details of it can be distracting at best, and overwhelming at worst.

    So I'd say that it probably would be a positive overall experience for you to come here and work for a few years to see how you like the different area and culture, and to see what it is like to work here. Please keep in mind that there is a tremendous range of engineering job experiences here, from very dreary, unpleasant jobs working for jerks (hey, that probably happens anywhere in the world), to incredibly challenging and interesting jobs. One of the keys no matter what, is to do your best and work hard, and make it clear that you are willing to work a little bit extra and learn on the side on your own effort to get the job done really well. That's general purpose advice in the job world, and it applies to EE work as much as other jobs.
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2007
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