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Hi, I'm a immigrant too.

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I decided to write this post in hope that it might be helpful to some of you. I migrated to US almost 30 years. I was 23 years old, university student with $300 in my pocket.  Some people might say that things have changed and old farts like me have no business giving advice to anyone. Well, to some extent things did change. When I came here, there was no internet as we know it right now, no forums and any immigration advice was not available, except for having conversation with an immigration lawyer. It’s a great thing that forums like this exist. People can ask questions and get advice they need.


When I look back at my beginnings in US, everything seems distant. Nothing is easy when you start fresh somewhere else. Very few people can actually move to US and continue their careers. In most cases moving to US means starting everything from scratch at the bottom of the ladder. Some will succeed, but again in many cases immigrants have hard time securing their future. Reality is tough. Opportunities for someone who is in his or her twenties are different than for someone who has a family and children and is much older.


There is a big split in between wages for professionals and everybody else. This is not a new thing. Similar situation was 30 years ago.  At my first job I was making $6 per hour. That was pretty much average hourly rate.  Some of my friends got $8 or $9 dollars per hour. Right now that average is between $10 and $15. You have to admit that it is not a big increase considering how much time have passed and that inflation was not stagnant during that time. Professional wages are somewhere above $25 mark. Even higher, I would say $30+ per hour.


You should ask yourself question. How do I go from average to salaries of $60k+ per year?  And there is fairly simple answer, education.  There is no shortcut or substitute for this. You have to be competitive in this market. Education is expensive and it takes time. This is something that most of the immigrants are lacking. Money is in short supply and time is another factor. Degrees obtained in United States have tremendous value in the job market regardless if it’s 2 or 4 year college. In many cases bachelor degree is a requirement for position. So if you if you young consider going to college and if you are older think about continuing your education. Colleges provide guidance and assistance with evaluating your degree. In most cases at least one third of your required courses will be accepted. This will lower overall cost of your college.


If you cannot go to college, consider getting some trade certification. Anything that will make you stand out from the crowd.


I graduated from 4 year college with degree in Accountancy. I’m a Fiscal Analyst and Civil Servant.

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Thank you for sharing your experience.


I immigrated from Germany 8 years ago. I was 26 years old. At that time the economy in Germany wasn't the best (probably still isn't, I don't know) and I never had a stable job despite having finished my apprenticeship and having a certificate for it. I was looking for jobs for years after my apprenticeship finished. I came here and two weeks later I was already hired. I'm enjoying the stability and financial security I've had here so far. I was able to buy myself things I was unable to afford in Germany, like cars and even a house. In Germany I would have ended up on government welfare or retirement due to a handicap and lack of jobs. I'm very glad I started "from scratch" although for me it was more of a fresh start and a new chance and opportunity. It definitely made my life better.

Edited by little immigrant


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I immigrated in 1985. Actually there were online forums if you were working in the high tech software business: USENET for Unix users  And  CompuServe was around for MSDOS users, a much wider community.  


Then AOL came in 1991. 

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