Career Direct is a premier Master’s degree and STEM OPT professional development program designed to accelerate your career and give you a competitive advantage in the global job market.

This degree program is exclusively for international students pursuing a Master of Information Systems (MIS) in the School of Business or Master of Computer Science (MCS) in the School of Engineering at Cleveland State University.

Engaged Learning, Engaged Students

Designed for high-achieving international students, our exclusive Career Direct program provides an action-oriented professional experience for MIS and MCS graduate students seeking Operational Practical Training.

  • Earn priority access to STEM-designated OPT job placements in the Cleveland area.
  • Prepare for success with coaches and mentors who build your confidence and skills for the global workforce.
  • Expand your network and deepen your connection to the university, your fellow students, alumni and hiring managers.

Note: Career placement support is available to OPT-eligible students who successfully complete the program only. OPT employment not guaranteed. Curriculum subject to change. 

How the Career Direct Program Works

  • Complete two semesters of Career Development & Professional Training (CDPT), which includes courses on resume writing, skill self-assessment, interviewing skills, OPT process and more.
  • Gain priority access to STEM OPT student internship and employment opportunities with top organizations in Cleveland and beyond. Cleveland State graduates have worked on OPT at companies like Amazon, JP Morgan Chase, Tesla, Wayfair and Moody’s Analytics.
  • Receive expert career guidance and get assistance applying for OPT authorization, with opportunity for two-year STEM OPT extension.

Sample OPT Curriculum

CDPT courses help you develop professional skills, design a strategic career development plan and achieve your career goals. Topics include:

  • Personal branding
  • Résumé and cover letters
  • Industry trends & research
  • Intercultural communication
  • Portfolio development
  • Interview preparation

Did you know?

of international students say that the ability to gain U.S. work experience before returning home or going to another country was a very important factor in deciding to study in the U.S.
—World Education Services Survey, 2017

Note: The Career Direct program will be offered starting in Fall 2021 for MIS and MCS degrees only. Career placement support is available only to OPT-eligible students who successfully complete the program. OPT employment is not guaranteed. Curriculum is subject to change.

Get a Remote Internship While You Study Virtually

Get a head start on your future career with top employers—and work remotely from anywhere in the world with Career Premium. This semester-long program, allows you to take additional career courses, attend exclusive training workshops, and apply for eight-week virtual internship opportunities. Your virtual internship program helps you gain valuable work experience and prepares you to participate in Career Direct when you are able to arrive on campus. With Career Premium, you will:

  • Engage in valuable training, coaching, and mentorship
  • Lead portfolio-building projects
  • Receive networking and application assistance to prepare you for Career Direct

Enroll in Career Premium and take the next step toward your dream career.

Take the next step to study in the U.S.