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Asked by Arash on July 14, 2013

I recently immigrated to USA, but despite the fact that I have a masters degree in materials science and engineering I have struggled to find work. I am wondering if US employers are hesitant to hire me because they see that I got my degree overseas. Do you think this is a factor? 

Answered by Nikki, Hiring Expert at Fifth Third Bank, on July 25, 2013

In my opinion a degree is a degree, it shouldn't matter what type of institution it came from. There could be a number of factors that could contribute to not being able to find a position. I feel like I'm seeing a turn in the market, but is it in the area you are searching in? Also, do you need any type of sponsorship? Often if you are looking for sponsorship, employers’ may be hesitant. The reason for that is they have to prove that there is no one that is qualified that is a natural citizen. There is also lots of cost that could be involved in the sponsorship of an employee. In terms of your original question, no it should not matter where you received your degree from. Good luck in your job search!

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Answered by Bryan, Hiring Expert at IBM Corporation, on August 1, 2013

It is a bit challenging to give you direction without having some additional details such as your ability to work in the US without future sponsorship. There are limits on certain types of visas that are used up quite quickly in the US, so it might be challenging for an organization to consider a candidate knowing there would be additional steps and costs to the process. If you would need potential future sponsorship to work in the US, the issue you are mentioning might be more aligned with a companies ability to sponsor a visa vs. your degree being from outside the US. That does not mean that you should not apply to all positions of interest that you match the required qualifications as there are many companies and organizations that do hire and sponsor visa for science and engineering students. Whether you would need future sponsorship or not, there are steps you can take to improve your chance of identifying an opportunity. Here are some of those steps... 1) Connect with other alumni from your college / university in the US and your area. You can utilize social media tools such as LinkedIn and Facebook to help you in this area. 2) See if you college / university has any sister schools or partnered schools in the US that you can take part in career fairs and info sessions with companies 3) Identify target companies of interest and start working to build your network through social media, trade expos, user groups, company recruitment contacts, etc...
Best wishes in your search!

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Answered by Stephanie, Hiring Expert at AT&T Inc., on January 31, 2014

Many US employers do not sponsor work visas for candidates who aren’t already authorized to work for any employer in the U.S. If you are a US citizen or permanent resident, I recommend that you indicate this prominently on your resume to dispel any assumptions that employers may make if they see your education was achieved in another country. You also should include some information about the university – including its position on top university lists in that country since the resume reviewer may not be familiar.

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