Key Highlights:

  • A new report from Intead and F1 Hire emphasizes the need for more data on graduate outcomes and job opportunities for international students in the US.
  • Increased investment in career services and stronger relationships with corporate employers are necessary for colleges and universities.
  • Career motivations are a primary driver for international students’ choices in study abroad, influencing decisions on where and what to study.

Report Introduction:

  • The report, titled “Connecting Dots: How International Students Are Finding US Jobs,” investigates the career opportunities and outcomes for international students in the US.
  • Intead partnered with F1 Hire to examine career opportunities and outcomes using both public and proprietary datasets.

Key Findings:

Preference for STEM Programs:

  • International students prefer STEM programs due to the three-year Optional Practical Training (OPT) period, which addresses skill shortages in tech industries.
  • In 2023, 9 out of 10 companies sponsoring international students for US jobs were in the technology sector.

Comparative Salaries:

  • International students earning degrees outside the US can make a higher starting salary in the US than those graduating from US institutions.
  • This highlights a gap in US institutions’ ability to offer competitive salaries to international graduates.
  • Except for China, Japan, and South Korea, the median salary for immigrants with non-US degrees is higher than for those with US degrees.

Value of a US Degree:

  • US employers tend to require fewer years of prior work experience, making it easier for international students with limited work experience to enter the job market.

Recommendations:

Enhance Career Services:

  • Universities should invest in robust career service offices and build strong relationships with corporate partners.
  • Partnering with H-1B- and PERM-friendly employers in states like California, New York, and Texas, as well as local employers who sponsor H-1B applications, can be advantageous.

Utilize F1 Hire Data:

  • F1 Hire, a platform dedicated to helping international students find jobs in the US, can help universities identify international talent-friendly employers.

Opportunities Outside Major States:

  • States like New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado, Tennessee, and Montana have high ratios of H-1B jobs per international student.
  • North Carolina, Michigan, and Virginia also have a high proportion of international student-friendly employers.
  • These states offer a competitive advantage for institutions recruiting international students.

Need for Better Data on Graduate Outcomes:

  • US institutions struggle to demonstrate how their degrees boost career prospects due to a lack of data on the job search process.
  • Recommendations include:
    • Investing in career services, with examples like Northeastern and Drexel’s co-op programs.
    • Using content from recent graduates to showcase career success through social media posts and videos.

Conclusion:

The report underscores the necessity for better data on international graduate outcomes and the need for enhanced career services. By leveraging strong employer partnerships and robust career support, US institutions can improve their appeal to international students and better support their career ambitions.

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