The Career Benefits of Study Abroad Continue to Grow

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Ashley Houston
May 24, 2016

As the academic leader in study abroad, IES Abroad is dedicated to developing global leaders. It was for this reason that, in 2012, we set out to assess the impact of study abroad on our alumni’s employment outcomes. The results were astounding.

Ninety-seven percent of IES Abroad alumni who graduated from college between 2009 and 2011, had secured full-time employment within a year of graduating, with the majority finding their first job in six months or less. In comparison, a 2012 study of the general U.S. population done by Rutgers University identified that only 49% of graduates from 2009-2011 had secured employment within a year of graduation. What’s more, the results showed that our alumni who graduated between 2006 and 2011 earned, on average, $7,000 more in starting salaries than U.S. college graduates during this same period from the general population.

The findings of the 2012 study reinforced the return on investment realized for students studying abroad with IES Abroad. As part of our dedication to continuous quality assessment and improvement, we recently repeated the career outcomes study by surveying our alumni who graduated from 2012-2015.

The results again amazed us. Of the 1,205 qualified respondents, we found that IES Abroad alumni not only continue to boast higher full-time employment rates, lower unemployment rates, and higher starting salaries, but they’re finding jobs even faster than their peers from four years ago: 

  • 73% of IES Abroad alumni who graduated from college between 2012 and 2015 secured their first job within two months or less of graduation, up from 67% of alumni who graduated during 2006-2011.
  • The median full-time starting salary of our alumni has increased nearly 7% from the 2012 study to the present. These results were even more pronounced for our alumni who opted to participate in an internship while studying with IES Abroad.
  • Six months following graduation, our alumni who graduated in 2014 reported a full-time employment rate of 56.4%. This is 6% higher than the rate reported by the National Career Outcomes Report and nearly 4% higher than the rate reported by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) for 2014 graduates. Additionally, IES Abroad alumni from this year earned a median starting salary $6,000 higher than the median 2014 graduate as reported by the National Career Outcomes Report.
  • During that same year, 2014, while the national unemployment rate for young people with a bachelor’s degree was 6.7%, the unemployment rate for our alumni was less than 5%.
  • Nearly 90% of IES Abroad alumni who applied to graduate school earned admission into their first or second graduate program.

While these results are exciting, full-time employment and starting salaries are not the only measures of the benefits of study abroad. Equally compelling are the long-term life skills and personal growth that come from participating in an IES Abroad program.

More than three quarters of our alumni reported that their IES Abroad program experience had direct impact on their development of key employability traits, such as communication skills, adaptability, self-confidence, and cultural understanding.

Learn more about the Career Benefits of Study Abroad.

If the preceding results don’t answer the “why study abroad?” debate, we don’t know what will!

Apply now and let us help you gain an employment edge!

*We will be updating our popular The Career Benefits of Study Abroad brochure in the near future—if you would like a copy of this brochure once it is done, request copies

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Ashley Houston

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