Want to do PhD while working on H1B

Staples nwusr
Oct 29, 2018 40 Comments

Hi Everyone,

I am working as senior software engineer and I have a MS in Computer Science. I am planning to do full-time PhD while working full time. Do you think it is legally possible to do it. As I need the 100 % scholarship from university to complete my PhD. That means I will be working as TA/RA in the university and also maintain a full time job at my present company. I want to explore all the legal options I have to do my PhD.

Thanks

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TOP 40 Comments
  • Teradata uvur74
    I think it’s both physically and legally not possible.
    Oct 29, 2018 3
    • Staples nwusr
      OP
      @uvur74. I know its challenging but I am ready for the grind. I am only concerned about the legality.
      Oct 29, 2018
    • Teradata uvur74
      It would be a grind for 4-5 years. Why do you wanna go through it? The ROI isn’t worth it. Instead spend that time with your family.
      Oct 29, 2018
    • Staples nwusr
      OP
      @uvur74. A PhD in the field of Artificial Intelligence will be worth having it, in my opinion. I know family is important, but this is something I want to do it for myself and for my career.
      Oct 29, 2018
  • Oracle oGqu88
    Dude, forget TA/RA. If your job is able to sustain you, why do you want to eat up funding?

    If you don’t take RA you will be able to work at your own pace without feeling obligated in exchange of funding and your advisor will love you for working for free.

    Legally it might be possible, just ask your university’s international students’ office or a lawyer. Don’t take anyone’s word here - always verify with legal expert.

    It should be practical to manage PhD along with a full time job. I know of many people who have done that (US citizens so no visa limitations). I would suggest this over quitting job because you will also accumulate industry experience over the 4-5 years which matters a lot. You will avoid opportunity cost with this route.
    Oct 29, 2018 6
    • Staples nwusr
      OP
      @oGqu88. Thanks for your response. I was looking for a way where I don't have to pay for tuition fees from my pocket. As managing the tuition fees without any assistance for 4-6 years is not easy even with a full time job as we all have other financial commitments.
      Oct 29, 2018
    • Oracle oGqu88
      Aah, I see. You can check whether your school can give you tuition waver as a scholarship. This would be different from RA/TA. This is not employment so H1 should allow it. All speculation, please check if this actually works under law. Some schools give such scholarships. Even partial waiver will help you.
      Oct 29, 2018
    • Staples nwusr
      OP
      @oGqu88. Yea I am planning to meet the University officials this week where I am going to bring all these queries.
      Oct 29, 2018
    • Oracle oGqu88
      Just want to throw one more consideration at you, you might need to pay full tuition only for the duration for your course and research credits. Yes, that too takes good amount of time. But once that is done you can go for reduced coursework and enroll for the minimum credit hours to maintain enrollment while you complete dissertation.

      This generally is 1 credit hour per arm or per year depending on Univ. Not saying this is cheap, but if you are adamant about PhD, these are all options to try.

      Good luck. No one commits to PhD in sane state of mind, so welcome to the club. It’s a life time of regret that you will feel happy about.
      Oct 29, 2018
    • Staples nwusr
      OP
      @oGqu88. Thanks for your thoughts about it. I really appreciate it. I will consider all this stuff while discussing it with the University officials.

      This is something I am going to do, no matter what may come up.
      Oct 29, 2018
  • Cisco FXzH34
    Ok, I have a PhD and let me tell you this. Taking classes + TAing + conducting original research is >60 hour/week job. You won't be able to hold your fulltime job. Also, a university would have to file a new H1b petition for you, which is very rare. Usually students are on F1 and J1 visas. Only university staff members might be eligible for H1b.
    Oct 29, 2018 5
    • Staples / Eng nwusr
      OP
      @FXzH34. Yea I am aware of the fact that, I need to work 100 hours/week and I am ready to put that kind of effort to pull it off. My only concern is about tuition fees. If I get tuition fees waiver from university then I don't need to think much about TA/RA.
      Oct 29, 2018
    • New / Mgmt
      TheOracle

      New Mgmt

      BIO
      ...not that Oracle.
      TheOraclemore
      Seriously. You think you can do it until you burn out 1.5 years into it and lose your job along with it. A decent school won't even allow this. They want your full attention in a full time program and won't waste resources or scholarships on someone who thinks 100hrs a week is realistic...a top accredited US school that is. Because where else do they even have the courses you've described?
      Oct 29, 2018
    • IEEE cfgauss
      You do know that there are only 24*7=168 hours in a week. If you do then you sir have no idea what it takes to get a PhD. Forget about top schools, even in half decent schools in USA. Either way dont do it. Do not get into PhD unless you really like research and things related to research and can devote your attention full time to it. There are reasons a lot of smart people at even top schools give up.
      Oct 29, 2018
    • Staples / Eng nwusr
      OP
      @cfgauss. That's your opinion sir. And I respect your opinion. But I'm definitely going to do what I have planned for myself. And that's what I believe in.
      Oct 30, 2018
    • Staples / Eng nwusr
      OP
      @TheOracle. I respect your opinion and I respectfully disagree with everything you said. I am determined to do what I have decided and I'm not worried about the end result.
      Oct 30, 2018
  • Nvidia smartpm9
    People are getting creative these days for GC 🤦‍♂️
    Oct 29, 2018 2
    • Staples / Eng nwusr
      OP
      @smartpm9. Trust me, if the motivation behind PhD is GC then that person will dropout within 2-3 semesters.
      Oct 29, 2018
    • Oracle oGqu88
      You should try it too!
      Oct 29, 2018
  • Teradata uvur74
    If you are on a visa you need to be on F1 to get scholarship. I don’t think you can be on two payrolls on H1. On the other hand if your company have Tuition reimbursement policy, you can do PhD part time and make your company pay for it.
    Oct 29, 2018 4
    • Oracle oGqu88
      Good point.
      Oct 29, 2018
    • Staples nwusr
      OP
      We can be on two payrolls on H1B legally. That's what I have found so far online. I will be meeting with my immigration team in the company to discuss about it.
      Oct 29, 2018
    • Oracle oGqu88
      That might be correct, but that also means that your university will hire you on H1 to pay you TA/RA.

      That won’t happen because univs can only hire on quota-exempt H1 so you will have to quit your job to get on that visa. That is assuming you are at all able to convince them to do that. Generally univ offices do not like being ‘creative’ with these matters. It is best to follow a well beaten path. Otherwise eventually you will cause yourself grief.
      Oct 29, 2018
    • Staples nwusr
      OP
      @oGqu88. Right. I am not going to jeopardize my current H1B status in anyway.
      Oct 29, 2018
  • MapR Technologies v5gfrj6
    You can do a part time PhD and work. That is possible and legal. You can go full time for PhD and then work at a company as well (PhD related research) and be a TA/RA as long as total work hours are within limits (not sure if its 20 hours or higher)
    Oct 29, 2018 3
    • Staples nwusr
      OP
      @v5gfrj6. Thanks for your response. But I don't think university will provide me scholarship if I am doing part time PhD.
      Oct 29, 2018
    • He is right and this is how I did it. Used my employer tuition assistance to pay for my PhD. You can’t work at school while on h1-b. If your employer doesn’t pay tuition then you have to pay out of pocket and the bad news is, it is not deductible probably because you make good money.
      Oct 29, 2018
    • Staples / Eng nwusr
      OP
      @Bananasss my employer stopped paying tuition fees now. So probably I need to pay from out of pocket.
      Oct 29, 2018
  • New / Eng
    ComTruise

    New Eng

    BIO
    Tc = broke. Education: the Derek Zoolander school for kids who can’t read and want to do other stuff good too
    ComTruisemore
    You seem smart, and you also seem decided on this regardless of what anyone may say. If it’s worth the risks I say go for it. Failure is not a sin.

    They can take your h1b but no one will touch your PhD. No pun intended
    Oct 30, 2018 1
    • Staples / Eng nwusr
      OP
      @ComTruise. Thanks for your thoughts. Yea I believe I can do it no matter what others are saying . I am aware of the amount effort it will take. My job is to put an honest effort and as you said failure is not a sin. At this stage I'm not at all thinking about success or failure.
      Oct 30, 2018
  • Google mondler
    Hey!
    I see your comments above that “you’re ready for the grind and only worried about the legal possibilities”.
    It’s good to see that you’re motivated about a PhD in Artificial Intelligence. I honestly don’t know about the legal concerns. I wanted to share some of my experience about research in AI.

    I’m wondering what background or understanding you have on how Phd in AI is done these days, the conferences that happen throughout the year, no of papers that are accepted, how the review process works, fellow colleagues who are working on similar problems in other universities, professors you want to work with and most of all important: what are the problems that you would like exactly tackle and what solutions you propose and how good these solutions are?

    I’m guessing you’re answer to these solutions is a NO. If that is the case, then legally you maybe able to do it, but you won’t be able to get the most out of your PhD if you do your job and Phd together.

    Also, do you want to just get a PhD in this area so that you can learn about it or do you want to actually solve these problems for the future of mankind? If you’re motivated by the latter reason, then you should dedicate yourself to Phd and make an attempt. If you’re motivation is the former, I’m afraid a phd might not matter in the long run.

    All this is just advice. Would be happy if you made it and prove me wrong. Either way, I would like to see you do well and be happy (of course!).

    Edit: yes, you will figure out and do well. But if you want to do a Phd in 6years along with your job.. then the papers you publish will not be if very high quality..(especially if your job is not related to your phd) you’ll still learn a lot about the area and the problems and contribute a bit. What I meant to say was: There’s a lot more you can achieve during a Phd and you’ll have to miss out on them.
    Oct 30, 2018 1
    • Staples / Eng nwusr
      OP
      @mondler. Thanks for your thoughts. May be my answer is 'NO' for few of those questions. But I can definitely get those answers over the period of time. Nobody know everything from the beginning. If I knew everything then I won't even try for PhD. All I know is I am ready to do everything needed to complete it and I'm not going to give up.
      And thanks for sharing your experience in AI research. That may help me as well.
      Oct 30, 2018
  • New / Mgmt
    TheOracle

    New Mgmt

    BIO
    ...not that Oracle.
    TheOraclemore
    Not gonna happen... not if you need 100% scholarship
    Oct 29, 2018 0
  • Amazon 12356.$/8/
    Do you want to do PhD or TA?
    Oct 29, 2018 3
    • Staples / Eng nwusr
      OP
      @12356.$/8/ . I need tuition fees waiver and for that, If I need to do TA/RA, then so be it. If I get a tuition fees waiver without doing TA/RA then that would be great.
      Oct 29, 2018
    • Amazon 12356.$/8/
      Why did you copy my username? 😡😡
      Oct 30, 2018
    • Staples / Eng nwusr
      OP
      I have seen people getting upset for many reasons, but first time I saw someone being upset because somebody copy his username. Chill bro, I don't wanted to make you angry.
      Oct 30, 2018
  • Masimo str
    OP, legally it is possible. University will give admission if you have a valid status; doesn’t need to be on F1.

    Now maintaining full time job and getting funding from university is between you your advisor and your department. Not impossible but hard
    Sep 24 0
  • MindTree { }
    @op can you update this post and did you manage to get admission in phd and how about your job ?
    Sep 24 0

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