wo years ago, when Mayur Patil joined the Masters of Engineering Management programme at Duke University, he had visualised leveraging his US education into a permanent position in North America. He already had two years' work experience as an ERP consultant. Arming himself with a graduate degree from a top American school, Patil believed, would push him up the employment ladder to a good position in New York, San Francisco or some other economic hotspot. But today, he has a different plan. The economic malaise in the US has considerably reduced job prospects for Indian students. Wall Street, previously a significant destination for smart, capable students with degrees from top schools, like Patil, has completely stopped hiring. Rather than seek work in America and fight the economic tide, Patil plans to return home. "The opportunities for work in the US have become more limited. I perceive the Indian market offers better possibilities. I want to go back to India," he says.