A recent survey by Kaplan, an education services company, revealed that only a few MBA programmes have STEM designations and a third of them do not plan on going STEM.
Kaplan’s survey, based on admissions officers from 90 US B-schools including 14 among top 50 programmes according to the U.S. News & World Report, found that only 13% already offer STEM-designated MBA, while a whopping 57% are not considering going for it. However, 30% of them are willing to take it into consideration.
Since 2016, US B-schools have been inclining towards STEM designation for MBA, one of the main reasons being the importance of STEM is moving up the career ladder in the US. Another reason why STEM-designated MBA is considered worth it is because it allows international graduates in the field work in the country longer without requiring a visa, through the STEM Optional Practical Training (OPT) program.
While conducting the survey, Kaplan also asked the B-schools why they wanted to “go STEM”. One of the answers said that they got a large number of international students who wanted to equip themselves in order to fit well in the competitive world.
Another institution said that a STEM-designated MBA is a good route for international students to get the three years of OPT. In addition, offering a STEM degree is a way to attract more international students.
For international students, a STEM-designated MBA will act as a differentiator since it helps understand how much time they wish to stay in the States while looking for a job after graduating. Also, for international students, who wish to build their career in the US, doing an MBA with STEM designation will enhance their career scope, especially in the current economy.