Jobs for Indians in the USA: How to Get the Highest Paying Jobs

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The US job market offers great job opportunities across booming sectors like finance, tech, consulting, and healthcare. And it’s not all about Silicon Valley and Wall Street—some of the fastest growing companies can be found in cities like Boulder, Colorado and Boston, Massachusetts.

But if you’re from overseas, you need to secure the right to work experience in the US before you can hope to launch a high-profile career there. 

Here’s everything you need to know about how to land the highest-paying jobs in the US as an Indian citizen.

What are the highest-paying jobs in the US?

There are a wide array of industries and roles in the US that offer high salaries.

The Big Three consulting firms, McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group (BCG), and Bain, all offer a base salary of around US$165,000 to their associate consultants. When you add signing and performance bonuses on top of this figure, your salary could reach US$200,000.

Meanwhile in finance, an investment banking associate at JP Morgan can expect to earn around US$150,000 and a trader around $110,000, according to Glassdoor data.  Analyst developers at Goldman Sachs can expect equally impressive sums, earning salaries of up to US$130,000. Research associates at the company can earn even higher salaries of around US$200,000.

Opportunities also abound in the fast-changing tech world. According to Glassdoor, a big data engineer can expect to earn an average of US$104,000, a blockchain developer around US$110,000, and a cloud architect an impressive US$137,000.

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A chief technology officer (CTO) at a company like IBM, a job that entails combining strategic and technological expertise to manage research and development, can expect to earn an average base salary of at least US$170,000. 

You could also become an enterprise architect, one of the best paid tech jobs. For an average base pay of US$145,000 at companies like PwC, you’ll be responsible for things like managing the organization’s IT systems, improving business efficiency, and reducing costs.

How can you get a job in the US as an Indian citizen?

To land one of the top high-paying jobs in the US as an Indian citizen, it’s better to have studied in the country. MBA and business master’s graduates are always in high demand among US employers. According to the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), 91 percent of employers planned to recruit MBAs in 2021.

International MBA or master’s students in the US on an F-1 student visa are automatically eligible for optional practice training, or OPT, after graduation—a one-year period during which you can work in the US in a field related to your studies. 

Graduates from STEM-designated programs, which incorporate a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics component into their curricula, are granted a 24-month extension of their OPT period. 

Ankur Khare, who is originally from India, took advantage of this opportunity. He’s a graduate of the STEM-designated master’s in business analytics from Temple University's Fox School of Business and was able to kick-start his career in the US after graduation.

During his studies, Ankur completed an internship at multinational software corporation, SAP, after which he secured a full-time position as a business development strategies and analysis specialist.

“The skill-set you learn at Fox can be applied everywhere and will be in demand for a long time,” he says.

After this one-year OPT period—or in the case of STEM-certified program grads like Ankur, three years—you’ll have to apply for an H-1B visa if you want to keep working in the US. 

The H-1B visa allows foreign nationals with specialized professional expertise—either gained through an advanced degree like an MBA or business master’s, or work experience—to live and work in the United States. 

It remains valid for three years and can be extended for another three. At the expiration of the maximum period of stay, you must either leave the US or obtain a different status, such as an O-1 'extraordinary ability' worker, or a Green Card.

To get an H-1B visa, you need to be sponsored by an employer, who will petition the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on your behalf. Many employers—including top MBA recruiters like Amazon, Apple, and McKinsey—offer H-1B sponsorship to talented grads from overseas.  

Not only can you more easily obtain the right to work in the US if you’ve studied there, but a degree from a US business school also makes you more attractive to employers. If you’re familiar with the country’s business landscape and your skills match the job market’s demand, you have good chances of success.  

How can you get accepted into a US business school as an Indian citizen?

If you’d like to launch a high-profile US career by attending a US business school, you’ll need to craft the best possible business school application you can.

One of the most important facets of the application is your GMAT score. The GMAT exam is the most used admissions exam among US business schools, and earning a top score can help you earn a seat in a highly regarded program. 

So, make sure you prep well, studying regularly and rigorously either on your own or with the help of experts. 

To make your application truly stand out, also take care to really hone your resume, personal statement, transcripts, and letters of recommendation, by allowing plenty of time and asking a trusted advisor to proofread. 

As for choosing the right US business school for you, look into the school’s areas of academic expertise, industry links, and employment reports. That will help you figure out where you can hope to end up after graduation, and whether that aligns with your career goals. 

You may also want to consider schools that offer scholarships to international students. For example, Indian students at Chicago Booth have access to the Ramakrishnan Family Scholarship and the A. H. Tobaccowala Fellowship, both of which help cover tuition fees. 

US programs can be expensive, so looking into scholarship opportunities can be a good way to mitigate those costs. 

Fortunately, studying at a US business school typically offers a strong return on your investment, as you’ll be able to launch a high-profile and well-compensated career in a thriving business environment after your MBA or business master’s. 

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