On the Practical Value of a College Education

Ipsos is a leading global market research company that published a study, How America Pays for College: Sallie Mae’s National Study of College Students and Parents – https://www1.salliemae.com/NR/rdonlyres/BAF36839-4913-456E-8883-ACD006B950A5/14952/HowAmericaPaysforCollege_2011.pdf –  last August (only just learned of the report). Why am I commenting on this?  I’ve believed that since the onset of the recession, that families were holding very different conversations with their children about paying for college — and that this practical appraisal would trickle around to the “value-added” of such extra-curricular events as study abroad.  Wouldn’t leaving []

Study Abroad & Employment

Thanks to Nancy Ericksen, Assistant Director for Study Abroad, Trinity University for compiling this eclectic list of publications, blog posts and campus programs when recently polling NAFSA colleagues about resources on study abroad & employment [also see my article, “The Right Tool for the Job” in the 2005 NAFSA International Educator]: My addition to Nancy’s list is the invaluable blog by David Comp at University of Chicago: “Education Abroad and its Value in the Job Market”  http://ihec-djc.blogspot.com/2010/10/education-abroad-and-its-value-in-job.html The Return of Investment on Study Abroad: http://holykaw.alltop.com/the-roi-of-studying-abroad-infographic – a []

U.S. Employers Need to Become Pro-active in Assisting Workers Upgrade Skills

This interesting study reveals that no matter how well prepared employees believe they are as a result of being hired, they cannot count on their employer to do a good job of providing on-the-job skills training which would create conditions for promotion and advancement. The majority (55 percent) of workers in the U.S. report they are under pressure to develop additional skills to be successful in their current and future jobs, but only 21 percent say they have acquired new skills through []

QS 2011 Global Employer Survey: “How” They Value International Experience

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 []

International Volunteer Service: Good Intentions Are Not Enough

This CHE Commentary is a useful summary of the challenges and obstacles of conceiving and implementing service-learning programs.  As someone involved in the creation of the first nonprofit organization sponsoring S-L programs, the Partnership for Service-Learning, circa 1980, the issues addressed here are not new.   http://chronicle.com/article/International-Volunteer/130459/?sid=gn&utm_source=gn&utm_medium=en I do like the linkage the authors make between campus internationalization policies and best practices with respect to providing opportunities for students to  “unpack”  their overseas experiences as articulated in this statement: Students return to campus, where []

US & Canadian Employers Value [selected…] UK Degrees

http://usablog.britishcouncil.org/?p=1068:  from blogger for the British Council: The survey revealed that an overwhelming majority of hiring managers (73%!) view UK degrees as “the same or better than those earned in the US.”  The same or better!  That is a whole-hearted endorsement of a UK degree if ever I heard one.  But prospective employers valued more than just the degree. The research also identified core-learning elements that employers liked, and associated with the UK higher education system. These included the tutorial style of []

Canadian Community Colleges Successfully Lead to Employability

This article in the Washington post presents a stark contrast between our two nations with regard to the role of community colleges in preparing students for entry into the workforce:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/canadian-2-year-colleges-show-path-to-jobs/2012/01/25/gIQAkhtZaQ_story.html “Hugely popular for emphasizing practical skills that lead directly to careers, community colleges — most of which simply call themselves colleges, as opposed to universities — get much of the credit for making Canada second in the world in the percentage of young people ages 25 to 34 who hold some sort []

Book Review in International Educator

You can find my reviews in the International Educator magazine several times a year:  http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nafsa/ie_20120102/index.php#/22 .  This one is on integrating study abroad into the curriculum.  The book challenges the traditional orthodoxy that study abroad, in and of itself, completes a campus strategy for internationalization.

Greek Economic Crisis Impacts Student Mobility

We have a sweet spot in our heart for Greece- our daughter studied abroad with College Year in Athens her Junior year at Penn.  The gut-wrenching economic crisis has created tremendous unrest and hardship. And it has dramatically altered the future for Greek students: see http://www.economist.com/node/21542815 for insights into the new problem of brain drain.  “Since 2008, ever more young people have gone [abroad] often to foreign universities.”  University graduates face dim employment prospects with youth unemployment now at 47%.  In the coming decade, []

Testimonials from Colleagues

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Marty is doing an exceptional job at keeping education abroad professionals like me informed about, not just career trends, but about the need to link career and academics.

His posts and guides have been pivotal in making me understand the importance of incorporating career development elements into our international programs. They have also empowered me to make those changes. I attribute a significant part of our success in increasing study abroad enrollment to Marty’s advocacy.

Paloma Rodriguez

Coordinator of International Education, Santa Fe College


I’ve collaborated with Martin for many years on projects examining the relationship between education abroad and career development.

Marty was one of the pioneers in this area, distinguishing himself as a prolific writer and presenter before this became a popular topic. He is nationally recognized for his expertise on global workforce issues, and his time with SAIS provides him a unique perspective about the employment market. I highly recommend Marty as a consultant and project advisor.

Cheryl Matherly

Vice President/Vice Provost for International Affairs, Lehigh University

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