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4. Graduates of STEM Majors Have Higher Employment Rates

Majors with the top three employment rate among the most numerous graduates:

  • Computer Engineering (76%)
  • Mechanical Engineering (75%)
  • Electrical and Electronics Engineering (75%)

5. Over 50% of those who were approved for OPT are from China and India

Data for the table below are from:

  • Pew Research Center, 2012-15: for Country and OPT Approved
  • Institute of International Education, 2008-2011: for Student Numbers

6. Foreign Students from These 4 Countries are Mostly in STEM fields

% of foreign students in STEM  fields:

  • India: 84% (of Indian students who study in U.S. colleges have STEM majors)
  • Iran: 79%
  • Bangladesh: 74%,
  • Sri Lanka: 70%

Note: Only 54% of Chinese students in U.S. colleges are in STEM fields.

7. OPT and the top Fortune 500

“Only 4% of those employed under and the OPT program from 2012 to 2015 worked at the 10 largest tech companies in the Fortune 500,” according to Pew Reacher Center.

U.S. companies with most workers under OPT program:

  • Amazon: 1,936 (workers)
  • Intel: 1,563
  • Qualcomm: 1,080
  • Microsoft:: 1,067

8. Top Ten Universities with the Most OPT Approvals

The 10 universities with the most OPT approvals accounted for 13% of all program participants seeking employment from 2012 to 2015.”    The top three universities are:

  • University of Southern California: 7,485 (participants)
  • Columbia University: 7,116
  • New York University: 5,260


High Uncertainty Under Trump

Trump’s administration may revoke some existing OPT and H-1 B visa programs. In the past, an international student in a STEM field could work in the U.S. up to 36 months on OPT.  In the near future, this regulation may no longer in effect due to Trump’s executive order “Buy American, Hire American.