Do online MBA programs provide OPT after graduation

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A Master of Business Administration, also known as an MBA, is among the most prominent and sought-after degrees in the world. If you are looking to climb the corporate ladder and become eligible for managerial roles then this degree is the perfect option.

Often working professionals who find it difficult to balance work with studies enrol in an online MBA program, which offers the same value as a regular MBA. The online program is a flexible and affordable option that is preferred by those who cannot commit to a full-time program.

Additionally, online learning has been popular for many years and became all the more in demand after the lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can even opt for an online MBA from an international university and complete your degree without relocating. Though, if you are looking for optional practical training then you have to plan accordingly.

What is an OPT? 

Optional practical training, or OPT, is a temporary employment program that gives students who hold F-1 visa employment authorization to get trained in their chosen discipline.

Students who opt for an OPT are eligible to work for 12 months after graduation to gain hands-on experience and become fully trained for job roles. OPT is a popular option for students who are enrolling for a master degree as it gives them a valuable practical experience which is needed to gain an edge in the market.

Given that experience is necessary for the current job market, programs like OPT allow international students to gain exposure and real-time skills. It also gives them a chance to get a first-hand experience into the work culture of another country. Additionally, students get to connect with various employers and also build their professional network.

OPT option for online MBA 

OPT is basically applicable to students who are already living in the country. For example, if a student who has enrolled in a full-time program wants to gain work experience, they can apply for the OPT program. An F-1 visa becomes essential for anyone who is planning for optional practical training.

While there is no need for you to have a job offer in hand for an OPT, you must be enrolled in a full-time study program. It is important to apply for an OPT before the MBA program end date, after which you will not be applicable for the same.

So, what does this mean for an online MBA student who is pursuing the program from their native country? Students who have enrolled for an online program can apply for the OPT program but they need to be in the country for at least a year on a valid F-1 visa. That is if you are studying an online program in the U.S. then you have to be in the country for a year on a valid F-1 visa to be applicable for OPT. In Canada, students can apply for OPT which is for the same duration as the program. Given how student-friendly Canada is and its focus on bringing workers from other countries to bridge the widening skills gap, an OPT in Canada is an excellent decision.

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