STEM-Designated MBA Preferred By Indian Students to Study in USA


Samarpita Goswami
Updated on May 09, 2023 02:05 PM IST

STEM MBA courses in the USA are popular among Indian students with most of them being attracted by the lucrative post-study stay-back options.

STEM-Designated MBA Preferred By Indian Students to Study in USA

It has been a general trend among engineering graduates to complete their academic careers by securing an MBA degree. Technical skills as well as business skills always pave the way for big dollars. 

In recent times, US universities have converged these two courses and re-designed the STEM-designated MBA. The course was designed with a deep conviction that the commercial and business world needed something more than just an understanding of the trends in the market and profit. 

Indians were earlier opting for a normal MBA in USA. Instead, they are now opting for the new Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) MBA. This is not only suitable for engineers but also graduates from all academic backgrounds.

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International education stakeholders are of the strong opinion that STEM-designated MBAs from US universities have been attracting hordes of students.

The interim director of full-time MBA admissions at Ross School of Business, Taya Sapp, informed the Times of India that typically that at least 85% of the international students who are pursuing STEM-designated management science courses are overseas students. Indians and Chinese students are a highly represented population among the international student body.

Similarly, the six master's degree programs at MIT Sloan hold a STEM designation. The programs are MBA, Executive MBA, Masters in Business Analytics, Masters in Finance, the Master of Science in Management Studies and Sloan Fellows MBA. The STEM-designated MBA is a way to cut back on the number of months that international students could stay back in the USA for their Optional Practical Training (OPT).

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The US universities got back their international students by promising them to stay three times longer in America through STEM-designated programs. While a normal MBA graduate can work for 12 months OPT, a STEM program student is eligible for a longer period of student visa with an additional 24 months OPT extension. 

Kellogg announced its first STEM-designated major in its full-time MBA program in 2019. Gradually, most of the courses including full-time, evening and weekend, executive, MBA and masters in management studies are now STEM-qualified. 

The Graduate Management Admission Council observed through an application trend survey of 2022 that across various programmes, those who were STEM-certified were more likely to receive applications than those that were not. 

With high demand on the job market, graduates with a STEM MBA degree often have higher earning potential than those with a regular MBA. This can help international students make a smart financial choice when investing in a STEM MBA degree. Given the demand for technical expertise and commercial acumen across a wide range of industries and businesses, a STEM MBA can pave the way for international job prospects. International students who wish to work for multinational corporations or pursue a job that entails travel abroad may find this to be very helpful.

The number of programmes registered as STEM-certified in graduate management education increased by 65% between 2017 and 2020, from 222 to 367, according to data from the US Department of Education. Nearly half (49%) of international applicants who responded to the GMAC prospective students poll who wished to study in the US say they prefer degrees with a STEM certification, up from 39% in 2019.

The number of degrees awarded has expanded along with the number of courses: from 2017 to 2020, the number of STEM-certified GME degrees awarded rose by 257%, from 6,466 to 23,091. 

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According to a study paper by GMAC like the US OPT extension, Canada has a Post-Graduation Work Permit that allows international students to work in Canada for three years after graduating and has likewise seen increases in international students over the past few years.

To be equally adept in business and technology, an increasing number of Indian students are selecting a STEM track within their management programme.

Planning to Pursue Your Higher Education in the USA? 

Source: Times of India (TOI)

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