In the Journal of International Students, https://jistudents.files.wordpress.com/2016/10/2016-vol-6-no-4.pdf , five co-authors try to assess why international students graduate without ever visiting their career service offices, and why they have little of no knowledge that such an office even existed on an American campus when they were deciding to study in the U.S. Both raise important questions!
Of interest to me in my ongoing analysis of the linkage between study abroad and student career development, the authors found that “few studies directly explore international student career development.” This strains credulity when we currently have more than a million international students on our campuses. If ever there was a cohort which was concerned about the return on their investment to study in the U.S.(since they’re paying full tuition) this is it.
This survey was conducted by the International Student Services Committee of the National Career Development Association (https://www.ncda.org/aws/NCDA/pt/sp/about_committees). They sampled students, career development professionals and employers between 2012 and 2015.
I’ve known for a long time that when families start the process of exploring where in the U.S. their child “should” enroll (perhaps true for Canada, but, I have no direct knowledge of this being so), whether they have a career center or any kind, how its’ staffed, and what the rate of employment (overall or by major) is after graduation (or whether the campus posts such information at all) — these are not among the primary considerations for most families.
The key findings or take-aways from this survey are as follows:
Conclusions in this study are, to me, quite obvious. Campuses need to build closer partnerships with employers, share more information about the strengths of their international student community, identify specific skill sets in demand in their local/state economy, develop a deeper understanding of the employment preferences and professional goals of their international students, and in particular, become more cognizant of all the complexities of obtaining work authorization for their students (and assist employers gain this same level of understanding).