So you’re planning to pursue your MBA in the United states, and you’re leaning towards extending your stay there. It all looks rosy from your host country, but the visa process in the states make it look near difficult for you to settle abroad!
Till now, you’d assume that your best bet to settle in the United States would be to complete your education and go for the Optional Practical Training (OPT) of 1 year, where you’ll be eligible to find a H1B sponsor, and file your application for the same.
US receives 200,000+ applications for H1B visa per year, out of which they grant around 65,000 visas, and that too, by a lottery system. So, assuming you get a sponsor for H1B visa (which is not easy either), your chances of settling in the US are only 1 in 3. If you don’t get in your only attempt, you’d have to settle for another country, or find a whole new sponsor and apply again and again until you win the lottery. There is uncertainty as to when you’ll get your work permit, and it will be illegal to work in the US until then.
Fret not, we have just the solution.
What if we told you, that there was a way to get more time to apply for the H1B visa? You wouldn’t have to exit the country, and you’ll have three years of OPT instead of one to try your luck with the H1B visa. The secret to this 3 year OPT are the ‘STEM’ courses.
STEM degrees refer to the fields of education related to Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. According to the US department of Labour, there is a substantial shortage of qualified candidates for the STEM courses, and it is predicted, that the number of skilled workforce is only going to decrease.
A few of STEM courses also go in the same direction as business and management which works for students with non-science background. For instance, you could go for courses like M.Sc. in Management Sciences. Not just this, you have over 200 courses that you could choose from, which complement your Bachelors. There are also a few courses, that do not require a Bachelor’s degree! You can find the latest list of STEM courses here.
The story doesn’t even end here. There are a number of other benefits of the STEM courses:
- Promotion of Innovation:- Stem courses promote research and innovation. A large number of upcoming start-ups in the US are ground breaking technologies innovated by students from these courses. So, if you’re creative and have the knack of doing something on your own, STEM courses may just be the direction you need.
- More Job Opportunities:- The growth of STEM job opportunities has been much higher than other non-STEM jobs from 2004-2014. The rise in number of jobs predicted for the STEM courses for the period 2014-2024 are more than double of those for the Non-STEM courses. (You can read the study here.)
- High Remuneration:- It should be no news that STEM courses are some of the highest paying jobs in the United States. Well, the economics here is simple-
High demand + low supply= High remuneration
With low supply for the high number of vacancies in the STEM fields, the salaries for these courses are mind-blowing. Also, growth opportunities are very high, since positions on upper managerial levels are as vacant as the lower levels.
More time in the US, higher chances of procuring your H1 visa and more job opportunities with high salaries. What more could you ask for? Reach out to the closest career counsellor, and explore your options!