A foreign degree or credential once provided Chinese graduates with a “distinctive advantage” in the job market, but as more students return from overseas, its impact is now more mixed, according to a new paper
Researchers at Australia’s Deakin University conducted interviews with employers, policymakers, and graduates themselves. They found that job applicants educated overseas may be prized for their foreign-language skills, independence, global outlook, and capacity to learn.
Yet, employers expressed concern about foreign graduates’ lack of localized knowlege and unfamiliarity with Chinese work culture. They also said returnees might have unrealistic expectations about salary or duties and worried that ambitious graduates could use them as stepping stone to another position.
And foreign-educated workers simply are more commonplace, the authors said, noting a 132-percent increase in returnees over a five-year period. They recommend that colleges focus more on employability and job placement for international graduates and on fostering stronger alumni connections. After all, they write:
“Employment outcomes are increasingly considered the most important form of return on investment in overseas study other than residency.”
That’s true for all international students, not just those from China.
Related reading: This study
, by Mingyu Chen, a postdoc at Princeton, explored Chinese employers’ perceptions of U.S. graduates. He found that graduates of American universities were less likely to get a callback than those educated in China — even if they attended a more selective institution.
And I took a deep dive
into international-student employability, looking at students who returned home and those who sought work in America. The upshot: Whether students stay or go, the post-graduate path can be a difficult one.