The title 'STEM-designated' has become fundamental for international students looking to extend their US visas after graduation.
Students on STEM-designated masters can apply for a 24-month STEM-extension to their 12-month Optional Practice Training (OPT) period which allows them to work on a student visa. That means students on STEM-designated masters can work in the US for up to three years after graduation, without an H1-B visa.
Select master's programs were approved for STEM designation in 2016 when the White House published a press release that requested stronger ties between STEM OPT students and universities. The announcement recognized the nation’s growing need for STEM-related jobs and issued a more flexible policy for graduate students enrolled in an extensive list of STEM fields.
The shortage of STEM professionals has made them highly lucrative in the labor market—students from around the world are certainly catching on to the employment opportunities that a STEM education can provide.
According to the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the STEM field has the fastest growing and highest-paying jobs this century.
Combine the new STEM designation with trendy data analytics programs and what you have is a goldmine of potential. According to IBM, the US job market will witness 2.7 million new data and analytics job openings every year by 2020.
Here are 10 STEM-designated data analytics master' programs that are sure to influence the next generation of business professionals:
1. University of Texas at Austin McCombs Business School – MS in Business Analytics
McCombs' ten-month program has a specific focus on helping students achieve post-graduate success. A career development team serves as a lifeline for students seeking to secure offers from industry leaders like Walmart and Deloitte Consulting.
The McCombs curriculum teaches students how to harness data in order to tap into the multibillion-dollar big data industry.
2. MIT Sloan School of Management - Master of Business Analytics
Sloan offers a thoroughly developed Master of Business Analytics program in tandem with MIT’s distinguished Operations Research Center. This is in addition to doctoral and undergraduate degree offerings in the field.
The program is tailored to ambitious students seeking to advance their careers in a variety of areas, namely engineering, math, physics, computer programming, and high-tech industries.
3. University of Southern California Marshall School of Business – MS in Business Analytics
USC Marshall offers an in-depth exploration into the many facets of data analysis and management, such as statistical modeling, data management, visualization, information security, optimization, and decision-making under uncertainty.
The flexible curriculum allows students the chance to complete coursework between 10 and 18 months, catered to individuals who pursue their degree while they maintain employment.
4. University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School – MS in Business Analytics
Smith offers a roster of eight specialized masters programs; five of which are STEM-designated.
Smith’s MS in Business Analytics program doesn’t hide its tendencies toward progressive subjects in big data: cybersecurity, supply chain, transportation, and forecasting are only some of the topics covered in this program.
This is also an ideal opportunity for students seeking to study, work, and live in the DC area. And partnerships with companies like Deloitte, KPMG, and Unilever, keep the learning relevant to the real-world business environment.
5. Columbia University Business School– MS in Applied Analytics
Columbia’s Applied Analytics degree prepares students for leadership roles in which they will be required to recognize and respond to potential challenges and corresponding analytical dilemmas.
This program is ideal for students looking to sharpen their decision-making and communication skills. The course can be completed online or in-person, either in New York or San Francisco.
6. University of Iowa Tippie College of Business – Master in Business Analytics
Iowa’s Master in Business Analytics is yet another program on the list that provides a flexible curriculum and a variety of campus locations (Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, and the Quad Cities).
The program drives home the importance of keeping current on a rapidly growing industry, citing IBM’s statistic that 90 percent of all data that exists today was created in the last two years.
Kogod’s on-campus MS Analytics program bridges theory and practice by giving students ample internship opportunities and access to guest speakers.
In the capstone practicum, students partner with a local company, solving real analytics problems for real firms. The program’s speaker series is a highlight of the curriculum both in terms of networking opportunities and direct engagement with industry leaders. Past speakers include industry leaders like the CEO of Primehook Technology, the principal data scientist for Zocdoc and the VP of data analytics for Unisys.
8. University of Connecticut School of Business– Master of Science in Business Analytics and Project Management
With the Department of Operations and Information Management, UConn’s MS in Business Analytics and Project Management provides experiential learning opportunities and a global perspective on evolving technology platforms.
9. UC Davis Graduate School of Management– MS in Business Analytics
Davis’ MS in Business Analytics program focuses on preparing students to venture out into a competitive marketplace. The program is committed to working with international students to establish careers and meet the demands required of STEM-educated professionals.