I attended a fascinating and important session which discussed this incredibly large-scale survey of employers at recent AIEA conference in DC. You can read the full findings at: http://content.qs.com/qs/qs-global-employer-survey-2011.pdf There is a useful brief overview of past research – incomplete but representative – on employer perspectives from the U.S. and Europe [principally ERASMUS].
With the response to the initial question, the QS Global Employer Survey has for the first time produced a global benchmark figure on how employers value an international study experience when recruiting graduates. The global weighted average of 60% affirmative is more positive than findings from most of this type of research that has been conducted in the past at a regional level on smaller sample sizes. As such the result can be taken as an encouraging sign for those around the world participating in and sponsoring international learning mobility. A majority of employers globally value an international study experience when recruiting.
What is so interesting in this survey is the data points comparing responses to the question, “Do you actively seek or attribute value to an international study experience when recruiting?” I’m not aware of this question being addressed so directly in any other research report. Nor has any previous research been conducted on such a vast global scale. Findings are summarized by country, industry and in detail, by job title [this is very revealing as there is a significant difference between responses of CEOs & their own HR managers!].
Report’s closing observation –which I fully support:
Higher education institutions need to be attuned to the needs of the global recruitment market in order to prepare graduates for future workplace demands. As a driver of economic growth,universities and colleges play an important role in understanding global trends and providing teaching and learning opportunities that will support their students in developing the skills and knowledge they need to be future leaders.International education opportunities need to be responsive to global market demand.
I’d urge blog readers to follow the QS surveys –this is the second (there was one in 2010) – in coming years as they will begin to have sufficient data to analyze their data over time to track country/industry trends more carefully.