The United States remains one of the top choices for international students who are interested in pursuing undergraduate and graduate studies abroad. With more than 4,000 accredited universities offering a range of programs, there are vast opportunities for students in the United States which in turn can serve as a springboard to career success. For most students, the academic aspect is critical in choosing a U.S. university.
However, with a wide array of choices, students are sometimes confused as to the program they should pursue to achieve their career goals. While selecting a programme to study, students should pick ones that are right for their academic and professional goals.
The academic flexibility and education quality in the US are indeed major attractions for international students. The flexibility of education in the US allows students to mould their programmes to suit their career goals. For example, a student, pursuing computer science with the goal of starting their own technology company, would be able to add a few courses in entrepreneurship or management which would give the student the requisite skills and knowledge to meet their career goal. Similarly, a student pursuing a Bachelor’s in engineering, who has an interest in humanities might opt to pursue a major in engineering and a minor in sociology.
While most students from India pursue computer science, business, and engineering in the US, it is great to see that students from India are taking advantage of the flexibility of the US educational system and are exploring diverse fields of study in the US.
This article will provide an overview of some programs that students can explore when they plan to apply to U.S. universities for their higher education which may be considered "off the beaten track" compared to the more traditional choices:
Manmohan Thorat |
Supply Chain Management and International Business:
Supply Chain Management includes the broad areas of logistics and manufacturing. With the global economy becoming more interconnected, the demand for logistics professionals has been rising. Studying logistics in the United States can open doors to a wide range of industries and careers. Despite the shift in global manufacturing centres, the United States still houses a robust manufacturing industry. Pursuing studies in this field can lead to careers in production management, quality control, and process improvement. In the case of international business, given the global nature of business today, studying international business in the United Studies equips students to work in multinational corporations and navigate diverse cultural settings.
This field involves ensuring the proper functioning and maintenance of various engineering systems and equipment. Students interested in this area can find opportunities in industries like manufacturing, aerospace, and transportation. While many students dream of building planes, learning how to properly maintain the planes can be a lucrative career.
The United States is a financial hub, with Wall Street being a major attraction for finance enthusiasts. Studying financial engineering in the United States can provide access to valuable networking opportunities and exposure to global financial markets. Students interested in this field should have strong quantitative skills, while some programming skills would be an added benefit.
Journalism in the United States offers an opportunity to learn from experienced professionals and engage with diverse media outlets that specialize in traditional media as well as new media and digital media. This field can lead to exciting careers in reporting, broadcast, or digital media.
The study of psychology in the United States can offer a wide range of specializations and research opportunities. Graduates can work in various settings, including clinical, counselling, and industrial-organizational psychology. Clinical psychology is one specific area of psychology in which Indian students have recently shown interest. One should keep in mind that in some programs, international students may not be able to get the full experience due to rules related to dealing with patients.
Medical Research and Public Health:
Some of the world's leading medical research institutions are based in the United States. This resource enables students to learn from the best. Students interested in healthcare and research can find excellent opportunities in a wide range of areas related to medical research. Again, as with clinical psychology, there are some restrictions to working directly with patients, but medical research in a laboratory should not be a problem for an international student.
With its influential role in global politics, studying international affairs in the United States provides a unique perspective and opens up possibilities in diplomacy, working in NGOs, and in international organizations.
These are just a few examples of the fields that students from India are now thinking about pursuing in the United States. As the world continues to change and new opportunities emerge, it is essential for students to consider their passions and career goals when selecting their fields of study. The U.S. education system's flexibility allows students to experiment with different subjects and discover their interests, ultimately preparing them for success in their chosen career paths.
The author is an EducationUSA coordinator at the United States - India Educational Foundation (USIEF) Mumbai.