There is a long list of reasons why students all over the world study in the United States. At the top is the unprecedented abundance of first-rate schools in the country – Ivy League or other –and the fact that many of those institutions are home to the brilliant minds of world-class professors from around the world. 

Besides the prestige and quality of education, many students are looking to study in the United States due to their long-term plans to stay in the country. 

A successful career in the United States is an attractive prospect for many because some of the world’s largest companies are there. However, getting a green card in the United States is not an easy task, especially if you don’t have a close friend in the country. This is why many international students leave the country after graduation, which does not just affect their migration plans but it also forbids the United States to keep promising global talent from its pool of graduates who can potentially make a significant contribution to the country.

To protect and retain international talent, the United States provides students with the opportunity to work in the country during or following their studies. Both options for international students are Optional Practical Training (OPT) and Curriculum Practical Training (CPT).

Complicated immigration policies for foreign workers can make it difficult to get a job in the United States. Students who wish to remain in the same country should immediately inquire into both options.

Optional Practical Training

Optional Practical Training (OPT) allows international students to obtain temporary employment directly related to their major field of study. Through the OPT, students with an F-1 visa are able to work for up to 12 months in the country. That can be completed both before (OPT pre-completion) and after they finish their studies (OPT after completion) with the latter being the most commonly used case. Students who elect to start their job while earning their degree may deduct their OPT pre-completion periods from the available period of post-completion OPT.

Whereas OTP allows students to work for only 12 months, STEM graduates are exempt. International STEM students can extend their employment by up to 24 months, a total of three years of work authorization.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Where OPT is usually for international students who want to work in the US right after they graduate. The Curricular training program (CPT) is primarily intended for internships, internships and co-ops for students who are actively studying.

The CPT enables students to work full-time (over 20 hours per week) or part-time (20 hours or less per week) and gain experience in their area of interest. Working on CPT is necessary as it is integral to the student’s degree requirements, such as a practical or clinical placement. And unlike OTP, CPT is employer-specific and needs to be completed before graduating. Students pursuing OPT must note that when they are licensed for a total of 12 months of full-time CPT, they will no longer be eligible for OPT.

OPT extender for international STEM students at Golden Gate University:

Everyone founds to beneficial when permitted to work in the US. To help global talent develop their skills and contribute to the growth, innovation and competitiveness of San Francisco and Silicon Valley areas, Golden Gate University (GGU) in downtown San Francisco provides STEM degree offerings. With their STEM OPT, international graduates can more easily get work experience, start their careers and make meaningful contributions to the United States economy while extending their temporary stay in the country.

After their STEM OPT, some graduates were sponsored by their employers for a H1B work visa and ultimately obtained immigrant visas (“green cards”). In the San Francisco Bay region, including Silicon Valley, the region offers employment opportunities for high-tech businesses, such as Google, Apple, Twitter, Facebook, Intel, Cisco, HP, Uber, Adobe, Lyft, Salesforce and Broadcom.

At GGU, STEM students are eligible for a 24-month extension, which means they will receive a three-year work permit after graduation! Below mentioned are some of GGU’s STEM degrees available:

  1. BS Data Analytics
  2. BA Management
    1. Minority in Data Analytics
    2. Finance Minor
    3. Information Technology Minor
  3. MS Business analytics
    1. Marketing concentration
    2. Management concentration
  4. MS Information technology Management
  5. MS project Management- Information Technology Management
  6. MBA
    1. IT Management Concentration
    2. Concentration- Business Analytics
    3. Industrial- Organisation Psycology Concentration
    4. Finance concentration
  7. MA Industrial – Organization Psychology
  8. Ms In Financial analytics
  9. MS Finance
  10. MS Accounting Data and Analytics
  11. MS Finance
  12. MS Accounting
  13. DBA ( Doctor of Business Administration): Concentration on
    1. Business analytics
    2. Digital Startegy
    3. AI ( Artificial Intelligence) and Machine Learning

Employment authorization for GGU is granted through USCIS.

What’s the point of going to Golden Gate University?

Founded in 1901, Golden Gate University is a private nonprofit university specializing in law, commerce, taxation, psychology, public administration, and accounting. The university is located in San Francisco, California, has been named the best place to study in the United States by the US Institute of Research. 

The Golden Gate University urban campus offers a non-traditional and adult-centered learning environment and is “within walking distance of San Francisco’s most “active” businesses like Salesforce, Twitter, LinkedIn, Deloitte, Ernst and Young and JP Morgan” according to GGU 2018 alumnus, Hussain Aziz Sham..

In addition, to help international students find their niche once they begin their studies, the university also maintains an up-to-date list of off-campus accommodations close by for GGU students. 

Ranked 312th in the 2023 ranking of the best college in the United States (15% of all U.S. schools), GGU prepares its students for the globally competitive job market through its competency-based degrees while also offering flexible classroom schedules and a student centric approach. 

Below mentioned are some of unique features of the University:

  • International Golden Gate University Students- 17%
  • Countries Represented University’s Student body  – 48+
  • International students can get a scholarship upto $15,000 here
  • $92K could be the average PG salary for GGU students

For more information about Golden Gate University and its available courses can click here.

Availability of Global study partners online, helps the international students to learn more about the OPT, CPT and similar work opportunities.

5 thoughts on “CPT Vs OPT: Why is it necessary for international students?

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