Percentage of Candidates Seeking International Degrees and Careers Sees First Dip in Several Years

Data from GMAC’s 2015 registrants survey reveal that the share of candidates with international aspirations decreased from the previous year for the first time this decade.

Apr 21, 2016

Prospective Students

International student studying From 2009 to 2014, there was a steady rise in the percentage of candidates seeking a degree and career outside their country of citizenship. In 2015, this upward trend ended. Why?

A possible contributing factor is the difficulty many international students face finding employment outside of their country of citizenship following graduation. GMAC’s 2015 Corporate Recruiters Survey indicated that just 29 percent of companies planned to hire an international candidate in 2015. An additional 27 percent indicated they were willing to hire an international candidate, but did not have specific plans to do so. 
Interest in international degrees and careers sees dip
GMAC research indicates that employers are reluctant to hire international candidates for a variety of reasons. The most common are related to costs (36% of companies), legal paperwork and/or documentation (33%), a limited number of visas within the country (30%), and uncertainty about the future status of a candidate (27%). 

What are the most effective ways international students can obtain jobs?  Among Class of 2015 graduates studying abroad who received an early job offer, the job search methods that yielded the greatest percentage of job offers included: working with the career services office (50% success rate), networking with classmates/alumni (38% success rate), internships (38% success rate), and on-campus job boards (37%).  Additionally, international students who were more involved in activities during their graduate business program had better success locating a job than students not as actively involved.

For more on internationalization trends in the student pipeline, see GMAC’s 2016 Prospective Students Survey Report. For more on international students and job placement, read the 2015 Corporate Recruiters Survey Report