Why Study in Chicago?
Regardless of what you’re intending to take for your Engineering Masters degree, choosing one of the universities in Chicago is certainly a wise choice. The University of Chicago is but one of the prestigious universities you can enroll in, and the same can be said for the Northwestern University. It is also where most of the oldest universities in the state of Illinois are, the University of Illinois and the Illinois State University being the best examples.
The architectures of these said universities are amazing to say the least, and all are known for their beautiful campuses. Even the city itself is melting pot in terms of culture, fashion, and food. Any student, wherever he may come from, would certainly find the Windy City a good place to study.
What are the OPT and CPT?
If you’re a student who means to work while you’re getting your Masters, you’re probably wondering if you’ll be able to work in on-campus or off-campus jobs. If you’re a student on visa, it’s extremely important for you to know that it is illegal for most students to work off-campus. So working off-campus should definitely be crossed out from the outset. This is also where it’s important for you to know whether you are in Curricular Practical Training or in Optional Practical Training.
CPT is practically another term for an internship, for both are pretty much the same in nature. Most universities only allow students to work on CPT after a certain period (normally, after you’ve completed 2 semesters).
The most obvious difference that it has over OPT is that CPT is, as is evident from its name, part of the degree that you are in. It is, in short, mandatory yet you still get paid and the first-hand experience really does provide you with a golden opportunity for you to test the waters of the workplace that is related to your chosen degree. You earn credits for the hours that you spend working.
OPT, on the other hand, is simply a privilege that is given to students to begin working in their chosen field of study. They can either do it pre- or post-completion of the degree, but most of the time, you are only allowed and credited a maximum of 20 hours for both per week. It is a great way to acquire valuable experience in your chosen field.
What are the Job Prospects?
Since you are working on-campus, you can expect to work on tasks and jobs that assist in university operations. These could range from various kinds of admin and library work to working as a receptionist or as a staff in academic affairs.
How Much Can You Expect to Earn?
This primarily depends on numerous factors such the current minimum wage in Illinois as well as how the university classifies a student that ‘has a job’. As of this writing, the minimum wage in Illinois is $8.25 per hour. That would allow you to earn with around (assuming you’ll work part-time 20 hours per week) $660, which should be enough to cover a good portion of your expenses.
Another option that you can try is to apply for an online Masters degree in USA. In fact, some degrees with CPT actually require their students to enroll in online courses to become qualified. This allows you to leverage on the benefits of not only the flexible nature of online courses but also get paid at rates that are exclusive to the US.
For a good example of the best distance learning institutes that offer plenty of opportunities for Indian nationals to take up a Masters degree in the USA, look no further than Illinois Institute of Technology India Pvt. Ltd., Without a doubt, it serves as a better reference as it pretty much has all the information you need about being able to do the said endeavor. Take note that this particular platform centers on the Illinois Institute of Technology.