Page 31

GREAT EXPECTATIONS: EDUCATION AND EMPLOYABILITY Is employability the holy grail for international students? Nannette Ripmeester and Sevi Christoforou explore the mismatch between international study experiences and employability expectations.

Let’s start with the million dollar question: Is it the role of education providers to provide their international students with the skills that get them hired upon graduation? A question like this cannot be boiled down to a simple yes or no answer. It’s complex and versatile nature calls for a frank discussion between all parties involved – providers, students and employers. The answer must also move beyond fixed concepts of educational training. We thought it was time for a ‘Career Chat’ between global employers, international students and education professionals to explore the alignment between career needs, employability expectations and related motivations to undertake international study. We interviewed all three stakeholder groups and asked them a similar set of questions to understand whether there is a (mis) match between international study experiences and employability expectations.

Student expectations The international students we interviewed highlighted the relevance of the job market in their study abroad choice. Looking at what successful international alumni of an institution have achieved is common practice. One of them explicitly said: “I would never have made the plunge without knowing what job opportunities my education could bring me.” Does this mean they choose an education abroad and an education institution based solely on job market opportunities? Not quite. This is a generation that was encouraged to follow their passions in their career choices. And that’s what they did! However, future employment prospects shine through their study decisions on all levels. Research confirms that international students are on the quest for successful career prospects. The article 'International Student Expectations: Career Opportunities and Employability', published in the Journal of International Students, shows better job prospects are the second biggest motivator for students who choose to study abroad.

WINTER 2017 | 31

IEAA Vista magazine: Winter 2017  

Vista is an open access magazine produced by IEAA twice a year. It features in-depth analysis, insights and commentary on international educ...

IEAA Vista magazine: Winter 2017  

Vista is an open access magazine produced by IEAA twice a year. It features in-depth analysis, insights and commentary on international educ...