Demand for STEM programs among international students have been consistently increasing as the pathways for career opportunities in the US have been expanding with more jobs and availability of additional 17-months for students on Optional Practical Training (OPT) in STEM programs. In addition, industry demand for new fields like cyber security and data science and pressure to expand new sources of revenue has let to launch/expansion of programs by universities.
Given below are three insightful slides from SEVP of USICE on enrollment pattern of STEM students in the US.
The statistics reveal concentration by source countries, field of studies and destination states. This poses challenges for institutions not in the natural destination states to attract international students and for institutions in the top states to diversify the source countries of students.
1. More than one-third (35%) of all international students in the US are enrolled in STEM programs. Nearly one-sixth (15%) of all international students in the US are enrolled in “Engineering” programs.
2. Nearly one-third (31%) of all international students in STEM programs are enrolled in only three states–California, New York and Texas. Interestingly, nearly 45% of all international students in Indiana, Texas and Michigan are enrolled in STEM programs.
3. Three out of four students (78%) from India is enrolled in STEM program–highest proportion than any other country. Saudi Arabia and China are more STEM-focused than Japan and South Korea.
Author Dr. Rahul Choudaha