America’s East and West Coast cities dominate the list of top destination international graduates enrolled under the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program, a new report by the Pew Research Centre has found has found.
New York has received the highest number (74,000) of international graduates approved for the federal training program, followed by California metro areas of San Jose (44,500) and San Francisco (33,700) according to the recently published analysis of the number of OPT enrollees with an associate degree or higher by metro area.
Pew’s data also shows that the New York and Los Angeles also saw the top two highest outflows of students following graduation to look for work elsewhere, with 26,300 and 21,900 students respectively leaving the metro areas to enroll in their OPT program elsewhere.
Use our new interactive to explore data from 61 US metro areas on the federal government's Optional Practical Training (OPT) program https://t.co/2kQaK0HU5E
— Pew Research Center (@pewresearch) May 12, 2018
The metro area of New York also retained the highest number of graduates (218,400) who continued to stay and work in the metro area their university is located. This is followed by Los Angeles (103,600_ and Boston (73,000). On the other end of the spectrum, two Illinois areas – Springfield and Carbondale-Marion – retained the least number of graduates.
The Optional Practical Training (OPT) program lets international students on F-1 study visas to work during or after graduation in the US for 12 months under the OPT program. Since 2008, the federal training program has quadrupled in size, with a 400 percent increase in international students graduating and working in STEM fields.
Pew’s data is based on 113 metro areas that had 2,000 or more international students approved for the OPT program from 2004 to 2016.
Here’s the list of metro areas receiving the top 10 highest number of international graduates who entered the area to work under the OPT program:
|Metro area||Number who
|Total number who
worked in area
|New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA||74,000||218,400|
|San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA||44,500||62,400|
|San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA||33,700||65,400|
|Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA||27,800||103,600|
|Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX||19,200||48,500|
|Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX||16,600||32,400|