The Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs are gaining popularity among students who are planning to pursue education at American colleges and universities. Recently there has been a significant rise in demand of people equipped with these degrees as there is a gap in demand and supply. More and more companies are providing job opportunities in these realms while there is a dearth of skilled manpower in the area.
The STEM programs are innovative and job-friendly. Not only that, they also allow students to benefit from an additional 24 months of Optional Practical Training (OPT) along with the 12 months of OPT which is normally available after completion of the program of study.
Earlier the students were provided with 17 months of additional OPT, which has now been extended to 24 months. Another icing on the cake!
The 24 months of additional OPT enables the students to remain in the country and explore the possibilities for 3 years! This long duration bestows the students with maximum opportunities of converting their F1 student visa to H-1B work visa. So, the possibilities are limitless!
STEM programs exist at both undergraduate and graduate levels.
To qualify for an additional 24 months of OPT the student must meet the following criteria
- The degree of the current post-completion OPT is listed on the Department of Homeland Security’s STEM designated degree program list (See below).
- The student has not yet received the 24-month extension of OPT.
- The student is currently in a period of post-completion OPT.
List of Popular STEM Certified Programs
- Business Analytics
- Quantitative Finance
- Environmental Sciences
- Computer and Information Sciences
- Business Statistics
- Actuarial Science
- Forensic Science and Technology
- Materials Science
- Cognitive Science
- Mathematics and Computer Science
- Biological and Physical Sciences
- Mathematical Statistics and Probability
- Engineering/Industrial Management
- Civil Drafting and Civil Engineering
- Electrical/Electronics Drafting and Electrical/Electronics
- Mechanical Drafting and Mechanical Drafting
- Psychological sciences
- Computer Engineering Technology/Technician
- Architectural Engineering Technology/Technician and many more
Please refer to https://www.ice.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Document/2014/stem-list.pdf for the complete list.