Each year, thousands of students worldwide apply to study in the U.S. While numerous universities and colleges offer different courses for international students, only a handful of degrees have in-demand career opportunities.
Therefore, if you want a higher chance of securing employment from a US-based company at the end of your study, there are specific fields you should consider pursuing more than others. In this post, we highlight the degrees that will likely get greater interest from employers and even secure employer-based visa sponsorship in 2023.
Degrees That May Lead to Employer-Based Work Visa Sponsorship
In today’s job-tight market, sought-after career opportunities are few. The best fields in terms of competitive salaries, consistent demand, a healthy work-life balance, and opportunities for career advancement include:
Healthcare is an industry where worker demand has steadily risen since the pandemic. Currently, international students can pursue and get high-paying jobs almost immediately after graduating from the healthcare field. What’s more, there are numerous courses to specialize in, so there are many. They include:
- Physiology: Both general and specialist physicians are sought-after workers in the healthcare industry. The starting salary for physicians with a bachelor’s degree in the US is $112,200 per year.
- Nursing: Becoming an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) with a master’s degree can get you a job as a nurse aesthetician, nurse practitioner, and nurse-midwife. The average starting salary for these nursing jobs can be around $111,680 annually.
- Medical Service Management: If you want less involvement in diagnosing and treating patients, you can pursue a career in medical and health service management. With a bachelor’s degree, you can get a starting salary of around $80,000 a year.
- Dietetics and Nutrition: Becoming a dietitian or nutritionist is a lucrative opportunity today as most people look to lead healthier lifestyles. The average starting salary for an undergraduate is $57,267 yearly.
- Optometry: Optometrists are different from opticians. They specialize in detecting eye abnormalities, illnesses, or vision-related issues. The average salary of a certified optometrist is $110,630 per year.
- Dentistry: Dentists diagnose, treat, and help prevent numerous oral health issues. The minimum salary for a degree-certified dentist is $138,089 yearly, plus you can upgrade to an orthodontist and earn more.
- Pharmacy: Certified pharmacists are in demand across prescription and medication institutions like Big Pharma. The starting salary for pharmacists is $116,061 per year.
- Medical Technology: Medical technologists create unique medical devices that advance the field of medicine. The starting salary for a medical technologist in the medical device industry today is between $80,000 and $100,000 annually.
Accounting is a field that is quickly growing in America. Most organizations and high-net-worth individuals always look for skilled accountants to help record, predict, and strategize their finances. The most in-demand accounting skills in 2023 include:
- Credit analysis
- Risk analysis
- Tax accounting
- Financial analysis
- Accounting software development
With these skills, you can get an accounting job with a starting salary of $70,000 at any one of the “big four’ public accounting companies. These include Ernst & Young, Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), and Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler (KPMG).
Computer science is a respected course in many U.S. tertiary institutions and on the job market. The top fields where you can find a computer science job include:
- Computer Engineering
- Cyber Security
- Information Security
- Information Technology
- Software Development
- Web Development
The average starting salary in any computer science field ranges from $70,000 to $200,000 per year, depending on the employer. Examples of companies that may be willing to offer employer-based visas for international computer science students include Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Facebook.
Degrees That May Not Lead to Employer-Based Visa Sponsorship
Although it wouldn’t be fair to refer to any degree as useless, some courses may not be worth pursuing due to the lack of enough employers willing to provide visa sponsorship to international students. Below is a summary of courses that may not lead to an H1-B visa:
- English Major
- Political Science
- Criminal Justice
- Tourism and hospitality
- Fashion and design
- Art and crafts
Types of Visas for International Students
If you want to study and work in the U.S. after completing your degree, you must fulfill various visa requirements. The visa application process can be challenging as there are numerous visa types and the rules constantly change. Here are the visas international students require to study and work in the U.S:
F1 – International Student’s Visa
The F-1 student visa allows non-immigrant international students to enter and study at (SEVP) accredited institutions countrywide. This type of visa is only applied once an accredited U.S. learning institution accepts an application, and it expires after graduation.
OPT – Optional Practical Training
After graduating, you may be eligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT). This permit allows you to work in a field related to your study for up to 12 additional months in the U.S. Plus, if you’re a STEM graduate, you can apply for OPT for two years instead of one.
H1B – Visa (and H1B Extension/ Renewal)
The H-1B visa is sponsored by employers to allow international students to work in the U.S. This visa requires a degree related to the field and a labor condition attestation from the Department of Labor (DOL). Once granted, the visa remains valid for three years, after which it can be renewed for another three years, but not beyond that. What’s more, spouses and children of accepted H-1B applicants can automatically obtain H-4 visas to accompany the applicant to the U.S. and study.
L-Visa (Intracompany Transfer)
The L-1 visa is another type of employee-sponsored visa. This visa is used by companies that want to temporarily transfer executives, managers, or people with specific skills from branches outside of the U.S. to work in their U.S.-based department. The maximum admission for an L-visa is seven years for executives and managers and five years for specialized employees.
Green Card Application
International students who obtain a visa can file for a green card application. A green card makes you a permanent resident of the U.S., which allows you to file for citizenship after three to five years from the date of acquisition. The various ways to win a green card include marrying a U.S. citizen, having employer sponsorships, and seeking asylum. Alternatively, you can participate in the Green Card Lottery and win.
Get Help Applying for International Student Visas
You don’t have to go through the process alone. At Vitalis Consulting, we offer study and work placement opportunities in New Jersey. Working with us gives you a higher chance of getting any study or work visa you need after completing your course in the U.S. Contact us today for a consultation.