What is a STEM MBA? Top STEM MBA Programs in 2022

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As per the World Economic Forum, over 100 million new jobs will emerge as the workplace becomes more digitized. To fill the gap for business leaders capable of understanding and leveraging technology in a tech-driven world, many universities across the globe have started offering STEM MBA programs. STEM MBA programs are designed to simultaneously provide you with business fundamentals as well as technology and analytical skills. It helps business leaders make decisions in a dynamic environment by leveraging data analytics tools while leading cross-functional teams.

But before we deep dive into the benefits of a STEM MBA program, let us first understand exactly what a STEM MBA program is.

What is a STEM MBA?

STEM is an acronym for “science, technology, engineering, and mathematics” and generally relates to technical careers. Meanwhile, a typical MBA program covers the foundations of a business and touches a broad range of subjects, including finance, marketing, economics as well as technology. Thus, business and management degrees don’t typically fall under STEM.

A STEM MBA or a STEM-certified MBA offers a curriculum taught with an emphasis on STEM applications in addition to the management fundamentals. The program typically includes specialized courses on accounting, decision theory, economics, technology law, statistics, etc., while providing the necessary management science and leadership skills to occupy companies’ leadership roles.

What’s the difference between STEM MBA and MBA?

The traditional MBA courses focus on building learners’ business and managerial skills.

Meanwhile, STEM MBA also focuses on learners’ technical skills. The current trend suggests that employees with capabilities of making decisions using technology and analytics are more employable than traditional MBA graduates of similar profiles.

In terms of courses, the STEM MBA program offers courses in the category of Business Analytics, Accounting with Statistics and Mathematics, Management in Information Systems, etc. It also covers other domains like Financial Management and Investment Banking, Digital Marketing, Operations and Technology Management, and Supply Chain Management. At the same time, the traditional MBA programs focus more on Hospitality and Facility Management, Human Resource Management, Sales and Marketing Management, Entrepreneurship, Hotel Management, etc. To see which programs rank the highest, check out our list of the top MBA programs in 2022.

If we speak from students’ profiles perspective, many STEM MBA courses are open to STEM undergraduates or people working in STEM roles. In comparison, traditional MBA courses are available to students from all fields.

One of the other primary differences between the two is the extended OPT program for STEM MBA. This brings us to the next topic – the benefits of STEM MBA programs

What are the benefits of STEM MBA programs?

OPT Program for International Students

With visa restrictions coming into play, the STEM MBA course provides international students with more extended Optional Practical Training (OPT). With a typical program, global learners can stay and work in the U.S. for 12 months after graduation. However, since there is a need for STEM-trained professionals in the country, learners who graduate from STEM-designated programs are allowed to apply for a three-year OPT.

Eligible students have an option to apply for an extension of OPT after the initial period of 12 months. Refer to the US DHS page for STEM OPT for more details.

STEM MBA Students Are Equipped With Career-Ready Skills

As per Emerson’s report, increasing STEM skills shortage in the US will leave two million jobs empty by 2025. Almost every business is incorporating technology in its core value proposition. For instance, the rise of e-commerce, FinTech, and Social Media companies in the past few years has meant that technology is woven into the everyday tasks of most modern managers.

More Scope for International Students

Getting an H-1B visa has become very difficult for international students. Given the gap in talent pool in the STEM domain, students with STEM-MBA stand a better chance at getting hired and securing visas.

This creates a unique proposition for both local and international students looking to become equipped with career-ready skills in the US.

STEM MBA Programs in the US (2022)

These are the top STEM MBA programs in the US for 2022.

MBA ProgramSTEM DesignationProgram Length (months)
Arizona State: W.P. Carey School of BusinessSTEM designated MBA

21
Carnegie Mellon: TepperSTEM MBA

24
Chicago BoothFull-time MBA

24
Columbia Business SchoolMBA program

16-20
Cornell: Johnson School of ManagmentTech MBA

12
Harvard Business SchoolMBA with STEM specialization24
Indiana: Kelley School of Business

STEM designated Majors

24
Michigan Ross School of Business

MBA program

24
MIT: Sloan

MBA program

24
Northwestern University: Kellogg

STEM designated Majors

24
NYU Stern

Full-time MBA

24
Rice: Jones Graduate School of Business

Full-time MBA

24
Stanford Graduate School of Business

MBA program

24
UC Berkeley: Haas

MBA program

24
UCLA: Anderson

Full-time MBA

24
UMass Dartmouth: Charlton

MBA program

12
UNC Kenan Flagler

Full-time MBA

24
University of Connecticut (UConn)

STEM-designated MBA concentrations

21
University of Georgia: Terry

Pathway MBA program

12
University of Rochester: SimonMBA with a STEM designated option

24
University of Texas: McCombs School of Business

STEM designated concentrations 24
Wharton School of Business

STEM designated Majors

24
Wisconsin School of Business

STEM-designated MBA

24
Worcester Polytechnic Institute: Foisie

Online MBA program for STEM professionals

32-64

With almost all top US school incorporating multiple options for aspirants to pursue STEM designated MBA programs, the importance and popularity of these program is only going to increase in the future. With the dual benefit of teaching a highly relevant and in-demand skill as well as providing international students a way to stay and work in the US for three years after graduation, the program hits a sweet spot for all aspirants.

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Author

  • Ayush Verma

    Ayush is a Test Prep Expert and Application Coach actively involved in the Test Prep and Application Consulting space for several years now. He is a GMAT 99 Percentiler and has extensive experience in delivering private tutoring sessions for GMAT, GRE, and SAT exams. Ayush has a Bachelor’s in Computer Science and an MBA in Strategy from the Indian School of Business. He is an ardent ManUnited fan and when he is not helping students understand that tricky GMAT question or write that dreaded Why MBA answer, he would be likely cheering for his team at Old Trafford (GGMU). To connect with him, feel free to reach out to him via LinkedIn or his website Test Prep Buddy.

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