Enhanced employability for those who study overseas

The Ipsos Higher Education Team recently presented their study What do US employers think of UK degrees? at a breakfast launch sponsored by the British Council and NAFSA.

The study found that most US employers are extremely favorable towards job candidates who have studied overseas, and that most consider degrees from the UK to be equal to or better than those earned in the US. They think highly of UK higher education institutions and the specific attributes of university degrees earned in the UK.

However, US employers are not very knowledgeable about UK higher education generally, and favorability is likely the result of a “halo effect” created by the UK’s top institutions. Employers actually find it difficult to assess a candidate’s education where that education was gained overseas.

The key take away from the research is that to enhance the employability of their alumni, and therefore attract more students from the US, UK higher education institutions need to provide more easily accessible information about course content and accreditation to employers. They can do this either directly by creating dedicated pages on their websites, or by working with students to ensure that they are adequately communicating these attributes in their job applications.