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Background: I have been in the Phd Program since fall 2010, I have made great academic progress (two papers published in journals). From the 4th semester (spring, 2012), I have started working in a company and still a part time student in school. Till now, I am still keeping doing research and publish another paper and one conference paper. As I have finished all coursework requirement (72 semester hours, I transfer some credits from MS), I plan to work in the company and be a part time student to finish the degree.

From last month, my adviser kept asked what's my plan. I told him I will make my decision in mid-July as I can know my H1b working visa is approved or not. He send me another email ( I post here for information). My impression is he is threatening me...

Any suggestion? Again, it's difficult to look for a job for international students in such economics. I hope I can work and study as a part time student to finish the degree.

1 Answer 1

First of all, I think OP's situation is not that specific. Many international students in US are facing the same. Just that his is very extreme - his advisor wants to kick him out. In that regard, I agree with JeffE's comment. OP's advisor is not friendly at all, he probably needs to run.

Now, to answer the question. It all depends on how much you want to be an academic.

To continue what you're doing right now, I think you hurt your current and future academic career. Your industry job is demanding, particularly since you need your employer to sponsor your H1B visa. You have to work very hard. You can't devote yourself to your research unless your job is directly related to your dissertation. You are still publishing papers. I believe you can even publish more and better papers if you do research full time.

If you quit your current job, the H1B will be gone. But, you can concentrate on your research. You might become a great academic.

On the other hand, if you continue your industry job, you will get H1B visa and everything to make your American dream come true. But, how about your dream to be a great academic? Didn't you want to be a scholar when you went to US to study?

It's June now. Too late to change school. I would talk to the advisor if I were you. Explain to him your situation. Maybe it's just misunderstanding between you and him. He may not know what you really want and need. If it doesn't work, change the advisor. If you can't do that either, you'll have to make a tough choice.