What does the Joe Biden victory mean to the students going to the US for higher education?
Updated: Mar 01, 2021 1:13 PM
2020 was a year like no other - even in the world of higher education. For the first time in recent history, has one witnessed the academic schedules getting so disrupted - with most schools not knowing when to restart.
Joe Biden has the support of Silicon Valley, and he seems to understand their requirements. (Photo source: Reuters)
By Arun Jagannathan,
2020 was a year like no other – even in the world of higher education. For the first time in recent history, has one witnessed the academic schedules getting so disrupted – with most schools not knowing when to restart. Many colleges even introduced a “hybrid” model – which meant the first year was online and the second year on campus. However, even such creative solutions posed a challenge as most students were not so keen on getting their MBAs online. To add to the turmoil, you had Harvard and MIT sue the then-US president Donald Trump for canceling the F-1 student visas – a move that eventually got revoked.
Cut to 2021, the vaccine is out, and there is a new president in the United States. Things seem to get back to normal, and doing an MBA from the US looks very bright.
The foremost reason for people going to the US for higher education or jobs is the way of life. Be it the meritocratic culture at the workplace, the laissez-faire attitude streamed over Netflix, or just the comfort of speaking in English – for international students, the US has always been the place of choice. Life at the campus will get affected by the happenings elsewhere in the country – as we saw during the #BlackLivesMatter campaign. But with Biden at the helm now, we hope that he can “heal” the nation and get people to come together again.
Another factor has been the emergence of the US as a major hub for technology innovations. Companies such as Google, Apple, Microsoft, Tesla, Amazon, and Facebook have demonstrated that data is indeed the new oil. All these companies struggle to stay relevant in a fast-changing world, and their best bet is young, smart MBAs who are bristling with ideas and energy.
Joe Biden has the support of Silicon Valley, and he seems to understand their requirements. A day after he swore in, Biden along with his team had already begun their work on the H-1B visas situation and the immigration laws. They have already proposed changes to ensure that the visa caps per country is removed. This would probably mean that more people will get to migrate to the US. They are also trying to make it easier for the US university graduates with advanced STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) degrees to stay in the country. Another focus they have is on continuing to provide work authorization to H-1B visa holders’ dependents.
Speaking of why people prefer to move to the US, we should not forget this reason: the quality of academic education in universities such as Harvard, Stanford, MIT, and Wharton, to name a few. They have been at the forefront of management education – thanks primarily to the kind of talent they could attract from countries like India. This is the same system that produced Sundar Pichai (Wharton MBA 2002) and Satya Nadella (Booth MBA 1997). So President Biden would need to ensure they continue hiring truly great talent from outside of the US.
For students looking at doing an MBA in 2022 (application for which starts in 2021), this would coincide with better access to job opportunities with the economy rebounding, easier VISA policies thanks to federal policies, and lastly, lower levels of risk of pursuing an MBA in the US.
(The author is the CEO of CrackVerbal and is an MBA applications expert. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the Financial Express Online.)