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Indians with US degrees look at opportunities back home as America tightens immigration rules

A large number of Indian US graduates are now looking for jobs in India due to tough immigration rules and bleak job market in the US, as well as growing opportunities in areas like edtech and gaming here with appealing profiles.

Some are also driven by sentimental reasons of wanting to be with their families during the Covid-19 pandemic

Yash Kewalramani, who finished his undergraduate degree in maths and economics from Swarthmore College this year, said he tried to find a job in the US for a whole year, but decided to come back when he got an opportunity with edtech startup Lido Learning.

His decision to come back home was mainly due to the product management role he was keen on, but also partly because of the pandemic, Kewalramani said. He knows going back to the US will now be difficult, but he’s happy to be home and can save almost all the money he’s making.

Specialised tech recruitment websites such as Interviewbit and Instahyre report a huge jump in the number of resumes from US graduates.

“It’s very rare to have someone finish their MS or MBA and the US wanting to come back. Generally, they have loans to repay and would want to stay there for at least five years,” said Abhimanyu Saxena, cofounder of InterviewBit, an interview practice and jobs referral website with a focus on tech jobs.

Graduates have realised they can’t count on finding a job in the US. Plus, there are growing opportunities in areas like edtech and gaming at home.

Interviewbit now receives about 3,000-5,000 resumes a month, a jump of 30-40% compared to pre-Covid levels, Saxena said. Of this number, 60-70% are open to a job in India. Last year, it was barely 1%, he said.

Instahyre, another website focused on premium tech jobs, has received 800 resumes from Indian US graduates keen on applying for jobs in India, its cofounder Aditya Rajgarhia said. Last year, it was less than a hundred, he said.

Nandini Mullaji, chief strategy officer at Lido Learning, said the company receives dozens of resumes from US graduates every week. “Most employers are not keen on sponsoring a visa during a recession,” said Mullaji who is on a year-long break from her MBA degree at Stanford to work at Lido.

Sashi Kumar, managing director of talent search engine Indeed India, said jobs in tech, content and marketing were popular in searches from the US to India. These include roles like software engineer, developer and graphic designer.

Suraj Nair, who finished his postgraduate degree in mechanical engineering from Michigan Technological University this year, is looking for opportunities in the US, Canada and Europe, but has given interviews for jobs in India as well.

While the batch that preceded him at his college all landed jobs in the US, the situation for their batch is much tougher, Nair said.


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