Perhaps one of the biggest mistakes so many young people make is to put off thinking of being competitive in the job market until they have attained their degree. Actually, the time to think about landing the perfect job with great future prospects is before you go to university.
This is important on a number of levels but sometimes it isn’t even what you study but where you study. Those students who have studied abroad for at least one academic term are likely to fare better in the job market than those who stayed at home.
Independence and Life Experiences
For one reason or another, many students are now staying at home whilst earning their degree. Studying abroad demonstrates the ability to live far removed from your family and friends. For example, if you have decided to study at Portugal’s largest university (the University of Lisbon) and have booked the best luxury student accommodation Lisbon has to offer, that’s not what a prospective employer will see.
They will see that you’ve experienced life on your own in a foreign country and that independence you’ve demonstrated goes a very long way in the job market!
We are living in an age of global commerce. Most large corporations cater to international clients and because of that, any large employer will almost always opt for that one applicant who has a better understanding of the world outside the city or country in which they were born.
Also, the ‘perfect job’ may not be at home in the UK! Sometimes graduates seek employment in other countries and those employers want to know that the person they hire has the ability to work well with other cultures. By studying abroad, you are one step closer to demonstrating your ability to work well in a global community.
Being bilingual usually gives applicants an advantage because most companies now engage in international business in one way or another. Sometimes they sell products abroad and other times they purchase products, services or materials from other countries.
Whether you are going to work as a doctor in an NHS hospital or are seeking employment as a marketing executive, having the ability to communicate well with speakers of other languages is a definite plus. From clients you deal with to other employees, being able to speak their language gives you an advantage other job applicants don’t have.
It’s a Small World After All
Who doesn’t remember this American classic made popular by iconic Walt Disney Productions? Being written in response to the terrifying Cuban missile crisis, this song shows that we are living in a small world where countries live side by side.
In commerce, this is just as important that politics (maybe more so!) and why most employers revel in the chance to hire applicants who have demonstrated their ability to live, work and communicate with other cultures.
Planning your education? Keep this in mind and you’ll do well.