Research reveals how study abroad helps graduates get good jobs

by Ray Clancy on October 8, 2015

Having experience abroad is one of the most important components of a CV in the 21st century, according to a series of research, especially a period studying overseas.

It helps graduates to have a global and has a direct impact on creativity, cognitive ability, and student success as well as playing an important role in developing skills necessary to succeed in the modern workforce.

USdollarGLOBE_thumbnailAn independent study for the European Commission, the Erasmus Impact Study, found that internationally mobile students have better chances of finding a job after graduation. Their unemployment rate five years after graduation is lower than non-mobile students.

Results also show that around 65% of employers consider international experience important for recruitment and over 90% are looking for transversal skills enhanced by study abroad, such as openness and curiosity about new challenges, problem solving and decision making skills.

A UK Higher Education International Unit report has found that graduates who had studied, worked, or volunteered abroad were more likely to be employed within six months of graduation.

The data also shows a significantly lower proportion of graduates from disadvantaged backgrounds who were mobile were unemployed compared with those from the same backgrounds who were not mobile. Graduates with international study experience earned more, on average, than other graduates.

The recent graduate study from IES Abroad shows that those with overseas study experience found jobs sooner after graduation, jobs that were related to their studies and with higher starting salaries. Some 97% secured a job within one year after graduation, compared to 49% in the general college graduate population.

However, the research also found that the country where the international study takes place is important. Almost 75% of graduates who studied abroad in Australia or New Zealand found a job related to their area of study, with 40% indicating the job was very closely related and another 34% stating it was somewhat closely related.

Some 70% who went to South America also found first jobs very closely or somewhat closely related to their major, however, those who went to Africa had the most difficulty finding a first job in their field.

Nearly 85% felt that studying abroad helped them build job skills, of which 88% felt the experience was effective or very effective in helping them do so. But a statistically significant difference was found based on school type as 88% of public school graduates, compared to 82% from private schools, felt the experience helped them build job skill.

Almost 80% indicated that studying abroad was effective or very effective in helping them develop confidence to deal with new skills required for the first job.

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