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Mar 1, 2018 at 12:00am ET By Joanna Hughes

It’s no surprise that New York City turns up on list after list of “best student cities.”  From its world-class universities to a never-ending supply of things to see and do, New York City is a premier destination for young people seeking a truly thrilling environment in which to live and learn.

But today’s students are considering much more than what they’ll get out of a particular study opportunity. They’re also thinking about what they can give. The good news? New York is also a standout when it comes to producing graduates positioned to positively impact the world around them -- particularly in STEM studies.

Here’s a closer look at why New York is the place to be, along with one school that’s ripe with opportunities for students to get and give through STEM studies.

The Impact Imperative

Abundant job opportunities, high salaries, and challenging work are a few of the reasons many of today’s best and brightest students are drawn to STEM studies. But these are far from the only reasons to pursue a career in a STEM-related field. As more students aspire to make a meaningful impact on the world around them, science and technology fields are attracting increasing intention.

While fields like social work, psychology, and philanthropy studies may be the first subjects that come to mind when you think of changing the world, the reality is that we are living in an exhilarating era of innovation and progress. Driving everything forward across a diversity of industries? STEM fields like data analysis, biotechnology, and enterprise risk management. Says Mic of the world-transforming capacity of STEM, “In the coming years, science and technology will be leading the way to find solutions to some of the world's biggest problems, ranging from global poverty to clean water access. From apps that can donate meals to the hungry to technologies that can better diagnose deadly diseases, jobs in these fields have the potential to drastically change our society for the better.”

In other words, advancements in STEM will directly influence what the world will look like in the future, and people will STEM skills will be powering it all.

Why New York?

All of which begs the question: With universities all over the world offering STEM degrees, what differentiates New York from the rest? We’ve already covered the “big picture” advantages of being a student in New York, but this phenomenal city also shines when you look more closely at its thriving tech sector.

Not only is technology New York’s fastest-growing sector and the third-largest in the country behind California and Texas, but there’s also unprecedented stability here. Contends Forbes contributor Josh Kleyman, Trade Commissioner & Coordinator at Canadian Technology Accelerator, “The New York tech scene is starting to resemble the traditional New York economy. Companies and investors aren’t looking to make thousands of bets on failed companies in hopes finding one mega-unicorn. Instead, we’re seeing a shift towards cash cow companies that make money instead of noise.”

At the same time, the tech industry is still expanding both geographically and industrially with a preponderance of support available from many different entities. Continues Kleyman, “There is no shortage of accelerators, workspaces, business groups, events, and government initiatives. The New York City Economic Development Corporation offers dozens of services for businesses of all sizes and in all industries. They have programs to support entrepreneurs in everything from fashion to biotechnology, as well as international entrepreneurs, small businesses, and non-profits.”

Given these advantages, it’s hardly a surprise that the Fast Company ranked New York among its global ranking of “Top 20 Cities to Live and Work in Tech.” Meanwhile, Peloton founder John Foley recently predicted that New York City will surpass Silicon Valley as the titan of tech. “This has always been the city for multifaceted professionals who love diversity or aspire to learn across many different spectrums. Now it also is the place for those wishing to be part of the next generation of technology disruption,” contends Foley.

Already, many international students are leaning in the direction of New York because of its extraordinary diversity. Proposes Carl Leikhram, Director of International Graduate Enrollment Management at New York’s Katz School at Yeshiva University, “International students are drawn to universities that are well-ranked, located in major cities where industries promise internships and valuable experiences...Students who want to connect with others from their background can do so as easily as students who wish to branch out and explore other cultures.”

Pick the Right School

Speaking of the Katz School, we can think of no better place to immerse yourself in all that New York has to offer. With graduate programs in a number of fields, including biotechnology management and entrepreneurship, data analytics and visualization, and enterprise risk management, coursework at Katz is rooted in the ethos, "making societies smarter, safer, healthier.” 

Under the guidance of the school’s esteemed and engaged faculty members, students at Katz learn by doing through a focus on real-world scenarios. Curricula fusing science, technology and business skills, meanwhile, add up to sought-after applicability, while the Optional Practical Training (OPT) gives students the chance to immediately put their newfound skills to work in their chosen fields.

Katz School at Yeshiva University
Katz School

An added bonus offered by the Yeshiva University? While the typical graduate school application and admissions process can feel anonymous and overwhelming -- particularly for international students in a dynamic city like New York, the Katz School takes a different approach. 

Says Leikhram, “Often, students feel disconnected during the admissions process. They submit an application, wait for a decision, and that is the extent of the communication but what we strive for and do every day here, is speak with students about their concerns and provide true guidance at each stage of their admissions process. Learning about you and your cultural background is what makes your admissions process here unique for us and you.”








Joanna worked in higher education administration for many years at a leading research institution before becoming a full-time freelance writer. She lives in the beautiful White Mountains region of New Hampshire with her family.

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