Having an USA-certified degree will open many doors for you when looking for a job, both within the USA and abroad. USA high education standards are recognized worldwide and this makes the country the most chosen study abroad destination among international students. If you are one of these students, you may be wondering what are the study programs most demanded by employees or if you can start working while studying. To shed some light on this, this time we count on the expertise of Neyeska Tejeda, Global Pathways International Admissions Counselor from Pace University in New York.

Based on statistics provided by the USA Bureau of Labor, more education leads to better prospects for earnings and employment. Although education alone does not guarantee that students will find a job or make more money, data gathered suggests that earnings increase, and unemployment decreases as educational attainment rises.

While a lot of students consider their personal interests and academic passions when choosing a major, many of them also take employment prospects into consideration when deciding on which major to pursue. Currently, some of the most popular and sought-after programs lay within the STEM fields. According to Forbes, the five highest interest majors for the graduating class of 2022 were Business, Nursing, Psychology, Biology and Medicine/Pre-Medicine. Engineering and Computer Science also ranked within the top 10 for areas of popular interest for the upcoming 2022 class. 

At Pace University we currently offer opportunities for students to launch their future into any of these fields, which shows that we are aligned with the current and future market popularity and demands.

How to obtain a work permit in the USA as an international student

Obtaining a work permit in the USA depends on the type of visa a student holds. F-1 visa holders automatically have permission to work on-campus part-time (up to 20 hours per week) while school is in session and full-time during school breaks. This means eligible students currently maintaining F-1 status may engage in on-campus employment at the institution that issued their current I-20. This is granted by law.

Exchange students holding a J-1 visa may work on-campus part-time (up to 20 hours per week) while school is in session and full-time during school breaks, however, they must obtain on-campus work authorization from their home school first. 

Curricular practical training is another way for students to participate in paid/unpaid off-campus internships (CPT), F-1 international students must be enrolled full-time for one full academic year (two consecutive academic semesters). Exception to this is given to graduate students that require immediate CPT participation (internship is integral to and part of their curriculum).

Post-Completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) is available after the completion of a student’s degree. Students can apply for a 12-month period of OPT upon completion of each academic level obtained (e.g. 12-months of OPT at the undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral levels). Any student who applied and was approved for OPT at one academic level may not apply for a second period of OPT at the same level. Certain programs, such as STEM-designated programs may offer longer periods of OPT. After OPT, international students can apply for a H-1B visa, which permits a foreign national to work provisionally in the US.

How universities support international students in the USA

Many USA universities offer a lot of resources and opportunities for career services and in many cases they are likely to have a great deal of experience helping international students navigate the job and opportunity market in the USA prior to and following graduation. 

The International Student Professional Readiness Education Program (INSPIRE) is an exclusive opportunity to International Students at Pace University. The program is designed to assist international students in showcasing their strengths and framing their accomplishments to find internship and full-time opportunities aligned with their interests and goals. This is a great opportunity for students to get additional help in building a strong foundation as they launch their career search journey to a successful career.

At Pace University, we know how tough and challenging it can be to navigate the job and internship market, especially for international students. For this reason, we offer extensive opportunities for students to get involved and attend career fairs in which international students can get the opportunity to network, talk to recruiters, build relationships, and follow up for potential interviews. Additionally we offer other resources such as workshops in which students can gain skills that promote their interview skills, polish their resume writing skills and much more.


Dennis Vilorio, “Education matters”, Career Outlook, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 2016.

Michael T. Nietzel, “What Are the Most Popular Majors Among Prospective College Students?” Forbes, February, 2022.

Considering the USA as your study abroad destination? Join the SRT Webinar Study in the USA on January 11th and learn more about student life and work opportunities after graduation.

Neyeska Tejeda serves as a Global Pathways International Admissions Counselor at Pace University. Before she worked as an educator for  years. She has a Masters degree in Education from Brooklyn College and she is currently pursuing a second Masters degree in Higher education at Pace University. She loves helping students get one step closer to their goals.