IIE’s study, on gaining an Employment Edge has analyzed the great impact
Education abroad helps the students to gain several critical Skills for the present Century Workplace. A recent study investigated and demonstrated a definite link between gaining international educational experience and critical skills required for present-day employment. Studying abroad for long period impacts on job offers and leads to career advancement. It also leads to better improvement of a foreign language and fine communication skills.
The alumni stated that 68% of them, when they studied abroad for one year, contributed to a job offer or helped in the promotion, compared to just 43 % of alumni who studied for less than eight weeks. Better teamwork skills were reported by students who participated in short-term programs, which were more structured and good for teams compared to long-term programs, where students had independent experiences.
In order to carry out the study, IIE prepared a list of requisite skills based on the competencies recognized as desirable by modern employers. A detailed exploration was done and based on the responses given by 4,500 U.S. college/university alumni, and after conducting interviews came to the conclusion that studying abroad led to developing transferable skills. There were several optimistic employment gains also. The impact was assessed thoroughly to find that it varied considering the characteristics of the program, destinations where the study was done, and the goals of students. The survey studied specific features of programs abroad and how they contribute to success. This was done with the aim of helping the stakeholders to develop better programs to prepare the students to measure up to the global requirements.
Students studying in STEM value the benefits made in the areas of skills outside their major subjects. Nearly half of them said that their study abroad helped to get a job offer, students of science said that study abroad helped 28 percent to a job offer. The academic programs were insular at home but the study abroad gave a chance to acquire soft skills.
The respondents reported that the skills gained by studying abroad were relevant and useful in their careers for a major period. They helped in taking management-level positions involving communication and interpersonal skills, and in understanding the work of getting a promotion. They impacted on career growth and helped in skills gained through international experience. New career pathways were opened and fresh opportunities were provided.
Global talent is required in a globally interconnected economy and is a must for international companies. The skills gained through study abroad are effective tools which bring long-term success.
Studying abroad impacts on the improvement of intercultural skills develops curiosity, increases flexibility helps in adaptability, adds to confidence, and creates a heightened self-awareness. These all lead to better interpersonal and analytical skills also. The only drawback was seen in non-improvement of technical and software skills, as these were developed by academic programs at home campus.
There is a great focus today on preparing students to get jobs after graduation to ensure the personal economic well-being and national economic development.
Such studies have a remarkable impact on students, employers, and educators. They serve as a guide to students to consider the option of studying abroad and take apt career paths. This also helps the educators and faculty to facilitate rewarding study abroad programs in several fields and search for ideal candidates. The report has solid recommendations for educators.It was based on a broad respondent pool and involved several organizations.
Alumni, higher education institutions and several organizations throughout the USA were involved and 4,565 survey responses were received/ included in the analysis. The participants were selected reflecting diversities, career profiles, and personal characteristics.
The Institute of International Education is proud of this study. It will help in the development a global workforce and help to solve the complex challenges of the world today. IIE has been a world leader in conducting in-depth research on global trends.