Study Engineering in the US
Why study engineering at all?
The biggest reason you can have to study anything is that you like it. The second biggest of course is that your education will get you a professional standing. As far as getting a job is concerned, an engineer is placed better today than people in many other professions are. Primarily because – in manufacturing, which is one of the primary sectors of any economy – the number of opportunities for people other than engineers is falling rapidly, in proportion to the degree of automation. Manufacturing was both capital intensive and labour intensive until WWII. But thereafter, it started growing more capital intensive – with greater budgets being allocated to R&D, the newly anointed darling of the industry – but less labour intensive almost at the same rate, thanks to aggressive mechanization. That mechanization movement was driven not only by technical advances but also by safety regulations, which forced human beings to be withdrawn from many hazardous activities. As a natural consequence of that, we visualize manufacturing facilities no longer as a place where great wheels turn and great fires burn but as a place with a great key board, with many switches and displays. This type of manufacturing needs very few labourers but a great many engineers.
In addition to the new scenario in manufacturing, primary activities like mining or agriculture as well as tertiary activities like services – from amusement parks to airlines – need a lot of engineers.
Why study engineering in the USA?
The United States of America has been the largest economy in the world at least since the 1920s. For over half a century after the Great Depression, manufacturing was its primum mobile. But in the 1970s, the services started expanding at a previously unimaginable rate. Outsourcing of manufacturing jobs to Asian countries with cheap labour contributed to the decline of manufacturing as a fraction of the GDP and services finally became a larger part of the economy in 1990. However, the US has lost only its factories, not its laboratories or the university departments that had fueled its rise as a manufacturing behemoth in in the inter-war years. You can still pursue the most advanced engineering courses on the planet if you are a student at a US varsity.
Since the US is the largest economy in the world, it offers great jobs to young professionals. But – though people from all over the world are welcome to study any discipline in the US – only those who study the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) are welcome to stay back after finishing their courses. That is another great reason to study engineering in the US: it allows your student visa to metamorphose into a work visa quite smoothly.
SAT or ACT score, IELTS or TOEFL score, and good marks in math in school. You need to secure good marks in physics and chemistry or chemistry and biology if you want to study computational physics or computational chemistry or computational biology though.
Cost of doing the course
Tuition fees vary widely from one university to another. It can be as low as $26,000 a year; it can also be as high as $95,000 a year. The cost of living will exceed $1,000 a month even for a hermit but won’t touch$2,500 unless you turn a hedonist. Over and above that, you have to procure health insurance which is mandatory.
Top universities to study CS in the US
Arguably, the top 10 places to study computer science in the US are MIT, Stanford University, University of California—Berkeley, Harvard University, California Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University, Cornell University, University of Illinois—Urbana-Champaign, University of Washington, and Princeton University. However, there are different lists of top 10 universities to study artificial intelligence, programming or computing theory.
Top CS courses in the US
BS or BSc in computer science, cyber security, game development, web design, animation, software engineering, computer engineering, cloud computing, information technology, computational science, information systems and application development are some of the top undergraduate courses available in US colleges in this field.
Work while you study
International students on F-1 or M-1 visa are allowed to work either on-campus or in specified training programs. They cannot work off-campus in their first academic year. They can work on-campus – in the library, cafeteria, or student center.
They can take up employment off-campus after completing their first academic year – through programs specifically for international students seeking employment such as Optional Practical Training (OPT), Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Optional Practical Training Extension, and Curricular Practical Training (CPT).
OPT allows international students to work temporarily up to 12 months. You can complete OPT either before or after completing your studies, but you can’t work for more than 12 months in total either way.
However, international students successful in obtaining a degree in STEM subjects can apply for 24-month extension of their OPT.
Curricular Practical Training allows international students to gain work experience directly related to their major through temporary employment, paid or unpaid internships, or cooperative (co-op) education.
Last but not the least, many schools help international students with finding employment on and off the campus.
Healthcare benefits for international students
US law requires that each J1 visa holder must have medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness, repatriation of remains coverage amounting to $25,000, cover for emergency medical evacuation of the student to his or her home country up to $50,000, and a deductible of no more than $500 per accident or illness. The insurance provider must be one of those considered qualified by the US state department.
F1 visa holders need not meet government mandated standards such as those given above (for J1). They have less stringent health insurance requirements, which are not determined by the US government but by the educational institution they are enrolled at.
Internships and placement opportunity
You might even get to intern in the Silicon Valley – at one of the world’s biggest technology companies like Apple or Google.
Postgraduate study opportunity
US universities offer postgraduate courses in computer science in a huge number of specialized fields which include networking, data systems, game development, telecommunications, artificial intelligence, robotics, cryptography, simulation and modeling, and computational physics, chemistry, biology or statistics.
How We Help
Our experienced consultants will guide you throughout your journey in pursuit of higher education and admissions into your dream universities/colleges. In specific but not limited to, following areas of assistance is provided by our consultants:
- Complete Profile Evaluation
- Guidance on curriculum and subject selection for high school (A levels, IB, IGCSE etc)
- STEM Coaching - Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Business, Maths, Economics, English and many other subjects
- Preparation of different standardized tests - Undergraduate and Postgraduate
- Helping you to build your profile by guiding you on leadership skills, co-curricular activities, internship, online courses etc.
- Shortlist and finalize the best-fit college / university
- Research the right programs / courses for students
- Craft academic CV
- Brainstorm ideas for essays and personal statements
- Draft pointers for recommendation letters
- Scholarship and Financial Aid guidance
- MMI and Panel Interview Preparation
- Submission of the application form
- Follow up with the universities and updating the status of the applications
- Visa assistance and guidance
- Assistance on safe accommodation options
- Pre-Departure Guidance