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Looking for advice - International Student's Dilemma in Tech Job Market

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Mid-Level Software Engineer at Taro Community2 months ago

Hi, I hope you are having a great day!

Recently, I received an offer from a non-tech company in Seattle with significantly lower pay than I would have wanted (less than 100k, and that is the maximum they could budget). The joining date is just in a week from now. Honestly, I feel like I have no other option but to accept it right now given the low interview response rate and the visa restrictions I have.

To provide more context, I am an international student who recently completed my master's from a top 10 university. I have over 3 years of experience working as a software engineer in my home country, primarily in smaller companies that are not well-known in the United States.

So far, I have only been able to interview with three companies and this was the best offer I could get. I did have a few initial calls, but they did not work out mostly because of lack of visa sponsorship or mismatch in skillset.

However, I am motivated to switch to a better company with higher pay as soon as possible and with better preparation. I feel I deserved better and feel very unhappy about the role and pay (given that I invested a lot of money for my masters and worked really hard :( . Please let me know if you have any suggestions or advice on how to better prepare, and when would it be a good time to switch (not sure when the market will get better).

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Discussion

(4 comments)
  • 3
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    Thoughtful Tarodactyl
    Taro Community
    2 months ago

    First of all, I'm sorry you're in this situation. It sounds quite tough but I'm sure it will get better.

    I would try to identify what's going wrong with your job search. Are you not getting interviews? If so, you might try looking for referrals (potentially from the Taro community and/or your university's alumni network) to improve your odds of passing the resume screen. You might also try changing up your resume to make it appeal to recruiters from companies that you're targeting. Are you getting interviews but not moving past the {LeetCode/system design/behavioral} rounds? If so, hone your interview prep to focus on those specific areas. Are you doing well on the onsites but not making it past the team-matching stage? If so, try interviewing at smaller companies where they don't have a team-matching stage.

    Once you join a company, it's generally expected that you'll stay for at least a year (assuming there's no exogenous event like layoffs or Twitter getting bought over by Elon Musk). So other companies might see your switching quickly as a red flag. I don't mean to discourage you at all but just want to be realistic about what to expect if you take the job. Having said that, if your job helps you build skills that are relevant for the job you care about, then it could be a great stepping stone and provide fodder for future interviews!

    One last thing: I assume you're looking for new grad roles since you mentioned having finished your Master's. A factor to consider is that new grad hiring tends to be quite cyclical, so you might have more luck with recruiting in the summer/fall.

    • 0
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      Mid-Level Software Engineer [OP]
      Taro Community
      2 months ago

      Thank you so much for your answer. Really appreciate it!

      I definitely plan to work on my skillset in the next one year. I also hope that I get to learn a lot in my next role like you mentioned, which might help me get a good hike or better pay in my next role.

  • 3
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    Mid-Level Software Engineer at Delinea
    2 months ago

    As you are on a visa I would highly recommend you to join this company and get some experience. Until then try attending conferences and meetups. Try to improve your network by contacting managers, directors, VP's and even recruiters. Then start applying for companies through referrals when you are ready.

    • 0
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      Mid-Level Software Engineer [OP]
      Taro Community
      2 months ago

      Thank you for your feedback. I will definitely work on this!