5 Career Advantages of Studying Abroad

Posted by on in Study Abroad

In addition to gaining life experience, seeing new places, and immersing oneself in a new culture, studying abroad has major career, education, and lifestyle benefits. From increased earnings to better job prospects, studying abroad can pay off big.

1. Higher Average Earnings

One of the most important study abroad advantages that alumni look forward to seeing is the noteworthy difference in pay between those who have studied abroad and those who have not. A study found that study abroad students have a 25% higher starting salary than those who do not study abroad.

higher salary for graduates

On average, college students that study through an IES Study Abroad program make $7,000 more per year than college students who do not study abroad- a $567,500 difference in total earnings over the course of a typical career in the United States. This is clear evidence that study abroad pays. The greatest salary increase was for students with specific majors: sociology, computer science, theology and religious studies, electrical engineering, and physical geographical science.

2. Easier to Find a Job

One of the most common issues for millennial graduates today is finding a job. Economic changes have made finding a job quickly after graduation a challenge, but study abroad students tend to have a completely different experience.

youg professionals at a job interview

IES Abroad found that 97% of their study abroad alumni find a job within one year of graduation, while only 49% of other graduates find a job in that time. That means their study abroad alumni are about twice as likely to find a job within a year of graduation as other students.

A U.K. study found that study abroad returnees are about 25% more likely to find a job within six months. As employers value candidates with a study abroad history, it is no surprise that job seekers who have studied abroad have an easier job search.

3. New Job Skills

Career benefits for those who study abroad go beyond higher salaries and faster job placement. Those who study abroad learn new skills and have a better ability to adapt in rapidly-changing work environments and to respond to people of diverse cultural backgrounds, both of which lead to better workplace performance.

young professionals working in office

AIFS Study Abroad released a study that found that 84% of their alumni felt their study abroad experience gave them valuable skills for the modern job market, and 80% of their alumni reported that their experience abroad helped them better adapt to diverse work environments.

4. Better Job Satisfaction

Doing well and being paid well lead to better job satisfaction, which is also evidenced by the AIFS Study Abroad survey. It found that 70% of its alumni are more satisfied with their jobs, thanks to their time studying abroad.

businessman on skateboard

The ability to work with people from many different backgrounds is paramount for today's graduates. Building strong relationships with managers, peers, and subordinates is a challenge for anyone, but study abroad alumni have a much easier time relating with others. Part of this success may come from increased self-confidence and maturity, something nearly all alumni claim as a result of their studies abroad.

5. Additional Career Paths

international businessmen

Study abroad students come home with new interests, experiences, and friends from around the world. With these new experiences, students may be exposed to new careers they had not previously considered. International business, political, and academic careers can be exciting and rewarding, and studying abroad opens students up to a whole new world of possibilities.


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