All you need to know about building a successful career abroad as an Indian student

Indian students opting to study abroad is rapidly increasing and is projected to reach 1.8 million outbound students in 2024 from 0.8 million in 2019. India became a top sender for leading study abroad destinations – the US, Canada, the UK and Australia just before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the global mobility of students increases, employability (while studying, immediately after post-completion of degree / post-study work visa and long-term stay) will become a critical driver in international education.

County-wise options that students can look into

A report by the International Education Association of Australia (IEAA) indicates that the long-term stay rate across OECD countries (including the US, Canada, the UK and Australia) is closer to one in four. There are multiple reasons behind relatively low long-term stay, but critical aspects are as follows:

  1. Lack of exposure to the work environment of the host market.

  2. Inability to adapt and adjust to the local culture.

  3. Focus on study destinations instead of the right-fit career options.

  4. Insufficient professional network.

  5. Lack of awareness of local work policies.

Career prospects of the students studying abroad are primarily correlated with the long-term stay in the study destination as it helps the student build a solid foundation for future career growth. The IEAA report implies that students need to consider multiple aspects while choosing a course, college/university and make additional efforts to ensure they have a competitive profile. A few steps that all prospective aspirants can take to build successful careers abroad, post-completion of their international degree are as follows: 

  1. Choose your course and University / College based on Career Options: Start your shortlisting from the career options that best fit your academic profile, skills and market demand. Prioritise colleges/universities with a well-functioning career services team to support students.

the most valid career options in top study abroad destinations

  1. Focus on skills: Start building skills relevant to your career goal. Build projects, and apply for internships or co-op programs to hone your skill set. Make sure you document all your work to create a proof of work. Develop at least essential blogging and web development skills to demonstrate your work on the web.

  2. Network extensively: Based on your career choice, reach out to all the relevant people – professors, batchmates, seniors and industry experts. Understand their work and find common synergies. Networking will help you identify mentors who can guide you to the right career path and give you solid recommendations for job opportunities and higher education.

  3. Master communication skills: Read as many relevant books/articles/blogs as possible, regularly document your thoughts, and share them with your friends, batch mates and mentors for feedback. It will help you to build a structured thought process and hone your ability to convey your thoughts and ideas in a structured manner. 

  4. Work Policies, rules and regulations: Clearly understand every law related to the work visa of the country where you are studying and the work policies of the targeted employer. Arrange / Prepare all relevant documents in advance to avoid a last-minute rush. 

  5. Learn the local language: Learn the local language. At least master the language to a level where you can comfortably speak and understand the language. 

Anubhav Seth

Ultimately, it boils down to one crucial thing – following your passion. If you are passionate enough and hardworking, you can build a stellar career abroad and achieve your career objectives.

The author is AVP, International Education, Career Launcher.

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