6 Ways Studying in the US Boosts Your Career Prospects
There are many things you need to consider when deciding what university you want to attend, but I bet that the issue of employability is one of the first things to cross your mind. This aspect is especially taken into consideration by students who decide to study abroad.
If you are wondering about your future career prospects after graduating from a US university, you may be interested to know that six of the QS top 10 universities for graduate employability are based on US soil.
US educational programs are becoming increasingly culturally open and immersive. But when it comes to getting a fulfilling and well-paid job after graduating, does international study really deliver? Let’s discover how studying in the US can improve your career prospects.
1. It opens up more opportunities
As it turns out, international students agree that the effort they put into studying abroad and adapting to a new educational system comes with lots of benefits. A survey published by the Institute of International Education in 2014 indicated that nearly 90% of study abroad alumni secured a job within the first six months after graduation.
Experiencing a different education system and approach to learning might seem difficult at first, but when you manage to adapt and evolve within that system you end up realizing that you can accomplish anything once you put your mind to it. Moreover, a study of Erasmus students suggests that international students end up with superior career prospects and employment skills compared to 70% of all students after having studied abroad.
2. It makes you independent and more confident
You cannot study abroad without adapting to new circumstances, which is often critical when you wish to pursue a career. Developing your ability to be flexible and react independently to changing circumstances or environments is a very important value for employers.
After you have successfully experienced new cultures and have interacted with people who have a different way of seeing life, you will learn more about yourself and the world, hence becoming a lot more confident. Such an experience shapes your personality, reveals your strengths and weaknesses, and teaches you how to take advantage of the resources you have in order to evolve.
3. It helps you acquire the skills employers are looking for
Study abroad programs may provide graduates with the skills and the experience employers are looking for. A study published in 2014 states that 92% of employers value transversal skills such as curiosity, problem-solving, tolerance and confidence. According to the report, international students were found to show higher levels of these personality traits.
Employers believe that international experience is a plus for recruitment, with 64% of surveyed employers saying they gave greater professional responsibility to candidates with an international background. As you can imagine, such experience can be gained by studying abroad, and especially in a culturally and professionally diverse environment like the United States. As mentioned already, being far away from home means that you need to take your own decisions and organize your life, aspects that will prove beneficial when you are preparing for a job.
4. It improves your cross-cultural competencies
The US is the world’s leading destination for international students, and choosing to study in the US will provide opportunities to interact with people from different cultures on a daily basis. Given the fact that you will live on the university campus, you’re sure to meet new people, make friends and create international networks sooner than you expect.
As you can imagine, these experiences will shape your cultural awareness and ability to work effectively with people from different backgrounds. With the increasingly globalized nature of the modern workplace, acquiring such abilities is particularly important.
5. It helps you work well in a team
This international experience will not only broaden your cultural horizons, but it will also teach you how to be more tolerant, adaptable and empathetic. In short, you will become an excellent team player.
As already mentioned, chances are you will have to interact with people from all kinds of background while studying in the US, strengthening your ability to work within a team and even giving you the chance to explore your leadership skills. Successful companies all around the world need young people who are flexible and know how to be a valuable asset in a team, so you’re sure to benefit from this ability.
6. It helps you improve your fluency in English
In the competitive job market that exists today, fluency in English is in great demand. Of course, you can learn to speak English in your own country, but if you want to become truly fluent and get out of your comfort zone, you should try living in a country where English is the primary language.
By studying in the US, you will participate in courses taught in English and interact with native English speakers every day. This will improve your vocabulary and give you a better understanding of the language. Even though you believe there are many young students who can speak English, you should know that just a very small group of them actually demonstrate proficiency when using the language. And you could be one of them.
Finally, it’s definitely true that your time abroad will be viewed as a significant asset for future employers. The benefits mentioned here are just the ones that could be fitted into an article, but the experience of studying abroad has endless rewards and you should definitely consider your options.
This article was originally published in December 2015 . It was last updated in January 2020