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MBA Job Picture Brighter Than Ever for International Students

December 14, 2012 7:03 pm0 commentsViews: 193
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International students who are studying for their MBA in America do not have as hard of a time getting a good job as some people think, according to a survey by Bloomberg Businessweek this week. Most schools that were surveyed report that they have placement rates that are about on par with US born students. The report adds, however, that some international students are successful in landing jobs despite some obstacles.

Of the 25 schools that were ranked in the survey in 2012, five stated that 100% of the international students there had gotten a job three months after they graduated. They were the University of Washington, Ohio State University, Texas A&M, Rutgers, and the University of Georgia. The survey indicated that all 25 of the schools who responded had a placement rate of at least 73%.

Many international students are looking for work in the US. Here positions still tend to be more plentiful, and the salaries are higher than in many places overseas. Getting a work visa, though, can be difficult. Nonetheless, many schools are successful in placing international students in jobs in the US. The University of Iowa, Howard University and Carlson stated that all of its international business graduates had found a job.

Some international students do want to return home after they graduate, but most want to stay in the US because of the superior job possibilities. Many found that earning an MBA in entrepreneurship gave them an edge in the hiring process.

There are two major obstacles to international students getting jobs in the US after MBA school. The first is that most of them have F1 visa status. This means that they are non-immigrants, according to the law. They may stay in the US to work up to 12 months after they graduate. Anyone with a pre-business school background in technology, science and engineering can stay as long as 24 months. After that point, international graduates need to get an H1B visa. This requires your employer to sponsor you. Many companies will not make the effort to do this, so many companies simply will not hire international workers.

Still, many international students who are hunting for a job still have a great deal of hope. Business schools state that recruiters for big corporations are usually more willing to host MBAs working in the US for one year, for on the job training, before sending them to offices in their own countries. Also, some employers know that US salaries are better here than overseas, so they give them signing bonuses or matching wages to make up the differences when they go home.

Some students still are going back home to get work, because their home country has a high demand for business talent. This is especially true in China. Many students from China like to return there because they see it is a major source of business growth and opportunity.

One should remember though that the recruiting picture overseas is not complete. Only about 40% of the 63 schools that are ranked responded to the survey above. Some schools did not provide information. Of the top 10 programs only the University of Chicago (95%) and Stanford (91%) responded.

Schools that have had the highest degree of success in placing these students gave a lot of encouragement to them to look at both domestic and international opportunities. They also were encouraged to look at firms with a strong presence in their native countries, or were willing and able to provide work visas. They also told non US students to look for careers in fields that are more friendly to international people. Supply chain management is a good example. Many of the schools noted that a key to getting a good job is the same for both domestic and international students – they need to make a strong case for why they should be hired over the competition.

As always, studying for an MBA is always a great way to get ahead in your career, whether you are a domestic or international student.