I joined my first job on 10th December 2007 as an IT consultant. Although my designation was Programmer Analyst trainee, my understanding of the industry was a big zero. I used to think of an IT consulting firm; I would work on existing software programs and develop products like we used to see MS word and others. So, you can figure out how ill-informed or ignorant I was. Anyway, this post is about why I think that onsite opportunities in IT companies will be far lesser than before. But still, we need to figure how to get the onsite chance from India?
Anyway, after a few days on the job, we/ I heard how great the past was in a fast-growing IT consulting firm—the year-end gifts, bonuses, free cab rides at night, free snacks, etc. Right after college, I did not know what to think. I had nothing to something. So, I liked what I saw. Anyway, after the global financial crisis, everything went downhill. Without going into details, let us come back to the topic we will address in this post. I have worked in Australia and the USA since 2011. And I have witnessed the change in the USA in front of me. So, I have concluded that. The people getting into IT should have fewer expectations about getting onsite opportunities, especially in the USA, where most of the options are. But in post covid world where companies are thinking about making people work from home, how to get onsite opportunities from India?
Inhouse IT Capabilities will Reduce onsite opportunities in IT Companies-
In 2014, I was working for Capital One. And I noticed they were hiring IT employees in-house. They were hiring them as contractors, then after six months, offering full-time jobs. These guys mainly were Indians on the visa. Go back to the 1910s, and think about what the British used to do. The middle manager or team lead equivalent in the army were still Indians; that is exactly what you will see in IT services. And that way, Indian consultants are also in check because the Indian IT manager already knows the consultants’ tricks. And when the long hours and weekend works need to be done, Indians on Visa are the best candidates to do that.
Many companies do not even need computer science degrees now; they will train the employees in-house.
Political Movement against Visa holders
In 2016 when Trump won the election, America had a strong sentiment against foreigners. They thought China was killing their industries and Indians were stealing their jobs ( read foreign aliens, the official word here). So, do not blame Trump. As a result, you saw scary articles in the newspaper predicting Trump will revoke visas and all. Anyway, now the scrutiny has gone up, the green card dream has become a little more far-fetched. Due to uncertainties, companies do not want to hire H1 visa holders; I am talking about IT services-related jobs here.
Now, you can ask me, how do I know Americans are against immigrant workers? Look at the government policies, and when you talk to Americans who are candid to you, they might tell you how they think these foreigners are taking all the good jobs. I will not discuss right or wrong because that is for the political leaders to decide, not me.
So, if you think once the covid is over and Trump is gone, everything will be fine, let me assure you, YOU ARE WRONG. America will not gain much by giving you citizenship, but they will gain a lot by keeping you onVisaa. Moreover, Americans do not want IT consultants, anymore.
Will The New H1B Visa Changes Be Positive? In a broad sense, it cannot be. If theVisaa bumps up the salary, that will immediately increase the salary cost of the employers like Facebook, Microsoft, Infy, TCS, and CTS. Then the question will come, is the billing rate for these H1 holders being increased, or in other words, is the client going to pay more for H1B resources? The answer, in most cases, would be NO. Companies with minimal opportunities to increase revenue have primarily used various ways to cut costs to improve the margin to lower the chances. But what I am saying is very one-sided and an average scenario. There will be many exceptions to this scenario. The new technology that is in demand will create opportunities or a sudden requirement that cannot be filled, are some situations coming to my mind.
As Biden came to power now, Trump’s terror onVisaa is gone for a moment. Will that mean more green cards and more visa jobs? We need to see really how that impacts onsite opportunities in IT companies.
How To Get An Onsite Opportunity When US Visa Norms Are Tight
After Trump came to power, everyone started blaming Trump for visa rejection. But the worse is the H amendment every time you move with the USA. And now, today, they have hiked the fees. You know in the last section I told you, America gains if you are on a visa. America makes money when you apply for a visa, America makes money when you file renewal, amendment., America makes money from the tax you pay. So, visa it is.
After Biden came to power, the lobbyists successfully made sure it was not that difficult like Trump made it. It is nothing but a supply of low-cost skilled labor sources. If you are not working on a US project and maybe working for a New Zealand client, talk to your manager and express your aspiration so that they can send you over when an opportunity comes. But regardless of that, they can initiate a visa and make your visa ready, as long as the account is prepared to bear the cost.
Campus hires in the USA will Reduce onsite opportunities in IT companies
Loads of international students come for higher studies in the USA. And in the job fair, the IT consulting firms offer them jobs. This was one way to immigrate to the US for international students. And the services companies could say that they are hiring locally, creating local jobs, and saving money. Many campus hires were Indians, at least; that is what I saw till 2016 -2017. They served the purpose of being local hire, and they would endure the late night works or early morning meetings. But now I am noticing another change, a lot of Americans are being hired. You can understand why and see the shift. Hiring locals did not mean hiring Americans. Anyway, IT consulting firms are hiring locally and reducing dependency on visas for good. And this is irreversible in the short term. Because the US businesses are investing in real estate and local talents. However, COVID has rained in that parade. COVID has imposed a travel ban, people cannot work from home, and clients would reduce spending, which means they will need low-cost offshore resources, not expensive American workers.
Anyway, these are some significant changes I see in the industry and American political and social direction. A lot of American kids are studying computer science and coming into these IT consulting jobs. And I am sure they are ill-informed as I was. The point is, given that consulting firms do not want to hire H1 or bring them over, because of the uncertainty, for some reason, nobody wants to hire H1, there is no quick and easy path to a green card, and locals are finally ready to do these jobs, I see a minimal opening for Indian IT guys in the USA. Saying that, I would like to specify, I do not think there will not be an opportunity at all. There will be extraordinary talents. Average ones will probably lose the most. But I have a suspicion that perhaps social acceptability will go down, regardless of who loses an election or who winds. Please remember the president is just one person; behind that person is a huge crowd and their perception and thought process.
Companies With More Onsite Opportunities
You might think large companies such as TCS, Infy, CTS have more onsite opportunities. That might be true. But, with so many employees and projects, it does not necessarily mean that you will be able to get one of those. Please do not get me wrong. I am not trying to tell you that you will not get the onsite opportunity; on the other hand, I am just making sure you are aware of the situation on the ground. If you want to join any of these large companies, while giving an interview, you can ask them if the role, project you will be entering, if that will have an onsite opening, or if they are expecting.
Otherwise, if onsite is your immediate priority, I will suggest you look for jobs on Linkedin which match your skillset. Many recruiters will help you with visa sponsorship. Provided the skill set is hard to find and expensive/ valuable, you will get it.
Best IT Company For Onsite Opportunity
Any significant and minor service and product company have onsite opportunities. Because either their clients are in a different county or the headquarter or other international offices are in different locations. And often, people go there on deputation. In service companies, there are many variables too. And do not take it as a sprint. Take it as a marathon, so you need to be consistent without burning yourself out. I knew a guy who got the onsite opportunity, and in client location, he was a day late to work, and the client promptly asked to remove him. He came back to India within months. Here are a few points: you need to be dependable, responsible, have leadership qualities, and be a team player. Sometimes, you might be the best-fitted candidate in one project because you have been there for a long time and know pretty much everything functionally. But in case you do not get an opportunity there, try to stick to the same practice, and under the same manager, so he knows what you deserve and makes sure they are aware of your aspiration.
So if you want short-term or business visits, or long-term visits, or if you have a country preference, those all will influence your decision. I have a friend in the USA but wanted to visit NZ, so he contacted HR through LinkedIn and processed his visa, and went to NZ. That same guy contacted their previous employer and came back to the USA after one year. After a while, he wanted to go to the UK, and he reached a different company. I got my visa done and went to the UK. So my point is you need to build a network, and based on your preference, your employer preference will change. So there is no cookie-cutter approach.
How To Get Onsite Opportunity From India?
Although onsite opportunities in the USA will be less, other countries have opened delivery centers. Nearshoring centers, there are a lot of options in those places. Here is the thing, when you are young visiting a new country always is another attraction along with the conversion rate. Like Qatar, Dubai, Malaysia also has onsite opportunities, and we are primarily interested in them because of the conversion rate.
Anyway, here is an actionable plan for you –
- when you are joining a project, talk to manager, ask them if there are onsite positions. Do not go by false promises. Often your manager will say, join the project, and when opportunity comes, you will go.
- Make sure you have an edge over your peers in experience and skill. Usually the best and visa ready person gets onsite opportunity first. Does not mean that you will not see lucky guys going off too.
- Make sure your visa gets initiated as soon as you join the project or you should have the visa already. Visa for the country where the onsite is.
- Next is proving yourself with hardwork, that is how to get an onsite opportunity. Your manager should consider you to be the right person for the job, without you buttering them.
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