Getting a US education is a coveted experience for students around the world. As such, the United States hosts the world’s largest number of international students. The benefits of education in the United States are countless, but they are also notorious for being the most expensive in the world. Interstride’s recent report, “Is It Worth Studying in America?” found that the lack of post-graduation employment in the United States makes it difficult for foreign students to justify their expensive education. is showing.
The study found a clear “value gap” between student satisfaction with the learning experience and their prospects for potential employment. Anna Esaki-Smith of her Education Rethink, who was commissioned to conduct the study, wrote: “But what we offer in terms of tangible value to students through the lens of career achievement is less clear to these students.”
1,087 students from 100 countries were surveyed and 84% said they would encourage returning classmates to pursue an education in the United States. Only 49% agreed that the value return of an American degree actually justified the cost.Esaki-Smith found that working in the United States was a “priority” for these students. and 41% expressed interest in working in the United States for several years after graduation before returning home or moving elsewhere.
Meanwhile, 71% of respondents said they would continue working in the US if employment conditions were easier after graduation. The report also examined the role of college career centers and found that while 53% of students consider them useful, they are actually underutilized. .
What can international students do after completing their education in the United States?
Global rankings and reputations of U.S. colleges and universities are a major reason foreign students are attracted to study in the U.S., but according to an Esaki-Smith report, almost half of respondents said they fully understand the U.S. job market. I didn’t understand it, and so I was completely unprepared. The fierce competition ahead has been made even more difficult by visa restrictions.
International graduates can now stay and work in the United States through the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program. This is a temporary employment scheme directly related to the field of study at the university. OPT lasts up to 12 months, but a graduate of certain courses in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) can apply for her 24-month extension of OPT.
After the OPT period ends, international students can retain their H-1B visas and continue to be employed in the United States, but the problem is that employers must submit an application. An H-1B visa is often the first step toward obtaining a green card, but without the right network connections, it becomes a stumbling block for many international graduates with a strong desire to build a career in the United States. It cannot be traced.
“U.S. colleges and universities must contend with the fact that no matter how OPT is expanded, the daunting challenges international students face in securing employment remain largely unchanged,” writes Esaki-Smith.
According to the report, the top two obstacles cited by international students in seeking employment in the United States were the reluctance of American employees to hire foreign nationals and the cultural understanding gaps and perceived students themselves. I was hesitant about networking because of the pressure to assimilate for my career. mileage.