International Students at UVA Darden Smash Employment Outcome Records

24 October 2019

By Jay Hodgkins

With record salaries and a record percentage of students receiving job offers within 90 days of graduation, there were many winners in the University of Virginia Darden School of Business full-time MBA Class of 2019. But one particular group stood out from the crowd with incredible year-over-year gains in employment results.

International students — defined as those with nonpermanent work authorization in the United States — reported double digit gains in employment outcomes, according to the 2019–20 Full-Time MBA Employment Report. Ninety-four percent of international students both received and accepted a full-time employment offer within 90 days of graduating in May 2019, a noticeable increase from 85 percent and 82 percent, respectively, for the Class of 2018.

What’s more, international students in the Class of 2019 reported an average salary of $128,835 and average bonus of $32,291. Those numbers lag just behind the average salary of $137,349 and average bonus of $33,862 for students with permanent work authorization and far outpacing Class of 2018 international student salary and bonus outcomes.

“These outcomes reflect the strength of our top international student talent in partnership with Darden’s Career Development Center (CDC),” said Denise Karaoli, director of international student careers. “Not only were placement figures impressive, the number placed in the United States who wanted to start their careers here is exceptional.”

A strong job market, additional resources from the CDC and new programs benefitted the entire Class of 2019. International student employment outcomes received an additional boost from those who took advantage of Darden’s new specialization in management science, which is a designated STEM degree that improved their chances of employment in the United States.

A change to U.S. immigration rules that took effect in April made graduate students more likely than undergraduates to secure an H-1B visa. Students earning master’s degrees, such as MBAs, are now 10 percent more likely to be granted a U.S. work visa.

Karaoli said the policy changes allow MBA employers to submit visa petitions to two H-1B pools, once using a candidate’s undergraduate degree and, if unsuccessful, once using the MBA.

“You get two chances at securing sponsorship now,” said Karaoli. “This will allow up to about 5,000 more H-1B petitions for those with advanced degrees such as a master’s. This improves the odds of an MBA candidate being granted a visa, from about 50 to 60 percent before to up to 72 percent today.”

The management science specialization’s STEM designation also allows international students holding F-1 status to apply for a 24-month STEM extension of their prior approved 12 months of Optional Practical Training (OPT) to be able to work in the U.S. for a total of three years without employer sponsorship and have additional opportunities to obtain an H-1B visa.

About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business prepares responsible global leaders through unparalleled transformational learning experiences. Darden’s graduate degree programs (MBA, MSBA and Ph.D.) and Executive Education & Lifelong Learning programs offered by the Darden School Foundation set the stage for a lifetime of career advancement and impact. Darden’s top-ranked faculty, renowned for teaching excellence, inspires and shapes modern business leadership worldwide through research, thought leadership and business publishing. Darden has Grounds in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the Washington, D.C., area and a global community that includes 18,000 alumni in 90 countries. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.


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Darden School of Business
University of Virginia