Short answer: Yes! But, keep reading for the longer, more in-depth answer with the best tips for maximizing your international degree and snagging your dream job post-grad!
Are you about to graduate high school or letting your daydreams run wild while considering a Master’s or PhD? Before you start clicking around the Princeton Review, consider the endless possibilities and growing variety of international degrees that are offered in global languages, especially English.
As an international student abroad, you’ll be pushed academically, professionally, and personally to gain the skills you need to succeed in an economy that continues to globalize with the rise of international partnerships, remote work, and freelancing. Not only will your international degree ensure that you have an expanded network of job opportunities, but also that you’ll graduate with the communication skills and adaptability to maximize your options wherever you go.
Should I Pursue an International Degree?
Any stage of your education is the right time to pursue an international degree, depending on both your long-term goals and restless energy to dive into both a new world of academia and a new culture. When considering whether your decision to study overseas will positively impact your job prospects, you need to first consider the pros and cons of international study at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
When it comes to bachelor’s degrees abroad, your short-term concerns might be being far away from your parents and missing out on the frat parties that you’ve been promised in American media. Switching gears to look at your future career, do some research on other aspects of international study, like whether a three-year program will be recognized either by a future employer or course of study, or whether your grades will depend on unfamiliar oral exams or one massive, stressful paper. When a future employer wants to know why you made the decision to get an international degree or why your GPA was slightly lower as you faced some adjustments that first year, these are the answers to start preparing before you book your flight.
Going to graduate school abroad is a great opportunity to reset your career and gain a new network in a job market that is full of exciting opportunities in your field. Once moving past the similar concerns of undergraduates abroad, selecting the best international graduate schools for your field should focus on the faculty and your research interests. Even though Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne in Switzerland may be one of the top hospitality degrees outside of the United States, if you’re interested in researching hands-on ecotourism, your specialty might lead you elsewhere.
Finding success after graduating with that additional diploma starts with the effort you put in during the application process. Before applying to schools abroad, reaching out to contacts in your field of interest or even to professors to determine if there’s a course out there that perfectly matches your interest in specialization.
Most Popular Fields for International Degrees
The opportunity for international education extends to any subject that you may be interested to study through a degree program abroad. However, within certain fields, this option stands out as highly advantageous for getting a job after graduation. Beyond hospitality, business is another popular international degree to earn abroad; for savvy business students, that recognize the benefits that international degrees can provide when it comes to job connections, learning critical thinking in a globalized world will be essential to getting a job in international business.
More specifically, international MBA degrees continue to rise in popularity partly because of their lower cost and duration, but also because of their more diverse student bodies and broader recruiting network for students who seek future jobs overseas, according to Forbes.
Technology continues to drive people around the world to learn English and as a result, STEM fields are increasingly taught in the lingua franca of computing. Beyond the advantages of cheaper tuition, international degree programs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics offer the chance to engage with emerging innovations in different markets and lay the foundation for future career prospects in rising tech industries around the world. Plus, getting an international degree is a perfect first step for coders and designers to lay the foundation of confidence and networking to work and travel as a digital nomad.
Depending on your area of interest, start your research in a particular region to determine which schools offer the best program and best career opportunities. There’s no way to beat majoring in international diplomacy in Switzerland, economics in China, or fashion design in Italy.
Not only will your education and expertise reflect your immersion, but your job opportunities will also expand, both in your host country and on the top of the resume piles for jobs at home.
Choosing Your Dream School Abroad
With international degrees becoming increasingly popular for students from around the world, it’s likely that you won’t be the only foreigner on campus. While most Americans gravitate toward the United Kingdom, especially more widely recognized schools such as Queen Mary University of London, the University of Westminster, or Edinburgh Napier University, China’s higher education system is also on the rise to attract top-notch international applicants to earn their degree in China.
Rankings for the “most global universities,” when it comes to both student diversity and institutional partnerships, can be easily accessed online, including the U.S. News & World Report and QS Rankings. However, especially for graduate degree programs, looking at field’s specific rankings will be the best indicator of universities that will support your academic, research, and professional aspirations.
Even though you might be itching to get away from your home country and immerse in another culture, larger universities with full-fledged international students’ offices, career centers, and extensive alumni networks will be key when job-searching during and after your studies abroad. In addition, look beyond the academic offerings of your international degree to the extracurricular opportunities that center on where you’d like to go after graduation. Interested in working in Brazil? Even if you get your degree in Spain, try to connect with any Brazilians on campus to not only make friends and brush up your Portuguese, but also to gain strategic insight about where to work and how to make your next international career move happen.
The Real Deal About International Degrees
There are plenty of strategies and research that can go into finding the right international degree program to maximize your chances for getting a great job after graduation. Ultimately though, there is no guarantee. Instead, getting a job after earning an international degree comes down to what you put into the opportunity and how you present your experience coming out of it. Your experience will be different than your friends who go to a state school or even an Ivy League school and therefore, should be explained differently. There will be added value in your international master’s degree that isn’t on your diploma, so you’ll have to know how to describe it to future employers.
Going to either undergrad or grad schools abroad is hard, and it will undoubtedly challenge you. However, if you’re up to the challenge, your approach to conquer those additional cultural obstacles, work hard, and rock your international education is exactly what will show future interviewers and employers that you are up to whatever task they throw at you.
Start daydreaming and start applying for an international degree that will inspire the next few years of your studies and give you the skills and confidence to secure your ideal career beyond.