The Global Employability University Ranking has listed the top universities in the world for graduate employment, including 12 UK institutions.
The Global Employability University Ranking, published by the International New York Times, names Cambridge as the world's top institution for graduate employment. Read more...
Le projet Langues et employabilité (LEMP), cofinancé par la Commission européenne dans le cadre du programme Éducation et formation tout au long de la vie (EFTLV), est porté par un consortium de quatre partenaires institutionnels français et piloté par le CIEP. Ce projet a été lancé le 1er mai 2014 pour une durée de 15 mois.
L’objectif de LEMP est de contribuer à améliorer l’employabilité des jeunes par une meilleure prise en compte des besoins en langues étrangères des employeurs sur le territoire français.
À travers le recensement et l’analyse des besoins des employeurs dans le domaine des langues (une première en France), le consortium – qui inclut les grands acteurs publics dans le domaine de l’éducation et la formation ainsi que le réseau national des chambres de commerce et d’industrie de France – a recueilli des informations précises sur l’enjeu des langues au regard de la carrière.
Afin de mieux saisir l’interconnexion entre langues et employabilité en France, un état des lieux de la recherche sur les différents aspects de cette thématique a été effectué.
Dans le prolongement de cet état des lieux, le consortium a mené trois études complémentaires. La première étude repose sur les réponses de 801 entreprises à une enquête en ligne. Elle a été enrichie par des entretiens qualitatifs effectués auprès de 14 responsables d'entreprise. Enfin, une analyse de contenu a été réalisée sur près de 1 500 offres d'emploi publiées sur les sites internet de Pôle emploi et de l'Apec (Association pour l'emploi des cadres).
Sur la base des résultats obtenus, une vaste campagne d’information et de sensibilisation du public cible (élèves de l’enseignement secondaire général, technologique et professionnel et leurs parents), qui s’appuiera sur l’action des conseillers d’orientation et des chefs d’établissement, sera lancée.
- La bibliographie Langues et employabilité qui recense, sans caractère d'exhaustivité, des articles, ouvrages, rapports, vidéos et sites internet sur les différents aspects de la thématique.
- Le rapport d’enquêtes analysant les besoins des employeurs français au regard des compétences en langues vivantes étrangères.
- La synthèse du rapport d’enquêtes présentant les résultats à retenir.
- Un film d’animation (link is external) et plusieurs vidéos de témoignages de jeunes et de professionnels sur le site internet de l’ONISEP.
- Le séminaire final du projet qui s’est tenu le 18 juin 2015 dans les locaux du CIEP. Voir l'article...
Le dernier numéro du Courriel européen des langues, édité par le Centre international d'études pédagogiques (CIEP), vient de paraître. Au sommaire, vous trouverez un compte rendu du séminaire final du projet « Langues et employabilité » (LEMP) de juin 2015 durant lequel ont été présentés les résultats de l’enquête menée auprès de plus de 800 entreprises. Voir l'article...
L’Iredu, centre associé Céreq de Dijon, mène une recherche sur les exigences en matière de compétences linguistiques qui sont mentionnées dans les offres d'emploi en France par Internet.
Même si les annonces sur internet ne concernent qu'un segment des offres d'emploi, elles apportent un éclairage sur les évolutions récentes du marché du travail et les attentes des employeurs en capital humain. Elles donnent une information sur les critères de sélection, les conditions d'embauche et les compétences demandées à un moment donné dans l'économie française. L'analyse menée sur ces offres d'emploi considère la langue de la même façon que le niveau de formation ou l'expérience acquise sur le marché du travail. Elle s'appuie sur plusieurs recherches développées en économie de l'éducation qui ont souligné l'importance de la maîtrise des langues nationales et étrangères dans les carrières professionnelles (Grin, 2003 ; Chiswick, 2003).
1 500 offres d'emploi étudiées, récupérées sur les sites de Pôle Emploi et de l’APEC
Au-delà de la part des annonces mentionnant la présence minimale d'une langue comme critère de sélection, les objectifs sont de connaître quelle est la langue souhaitée/requise, la présence éventuelle de plusieurs langues exigées, le niveau de maîtrise, les liens existant entre les exigences linguistiques et les autres critères notamment en termes de formation, rémunération, contrat de travail ; ceci à partir d'un corpus de plus de 1 500 offres d'emploi, récupérées au fur et à mesure de leur parution durant les mois de mai et juin 2014 sur deux principaux sites (Pôle Emploi et APEC). Ce premier volet sera complété par une enquête qualitative auprès d'employeurs sur leurs besoins en compétences linguistiques.
Un projet européen
Cette recherche fait partie du Langues et employabilité (LEMP), cofinancé par la Commission européenne dans le cadre du programme européen Éducation et formation tout au long de la vie. A partir de l'analyse des besoins du marché du travail dans le domaine des langues, ce projet LEMP a pour visée de sensibiliser les jeunes et la communauté éducative sur l'importance du choix d'une deuxième langue vivante. Piloté par le Centre international d’études pédagogiques (CIEP), il rassemble plusieurs partenaires : la Direction générale de l'enseignement scolaire (DGESCO), le réseau des Chambres de commerce et d'industrie de France, l'Office national d'information sur les enseignements et les professions (ONISEP), l’Agence Erasmus+. Le Centre d'études et de recherche sur les qualifications (Céreq) et son centre associé de Dijon font également partie de ce consortium.
Des informations précises sur l’enjeu des langues au regard de la carrière seront présentées lors du séminaire final au CIEP fin juin 2015, par l’apport de plusieurs éléments : une bibliographie recensant articles et ouvrages sur différents aspects de la thématique ; un rapport de l’enquête menée auprès des employeurs (800 réponses), enrichi par les entretiens auprès de responsables d’entreprise, par l’étude sur les offres d’emploi ; des témoignages vidéo.
The Global Employability University Ranking has listed the top universities in the world for graduate employment, including 12 UK institutions.
9 établissements français sont classés : École Normale Supérieure Paris (17), HEC-Paris (24), École des Mines ParisTech (42), École Centrale Paris (49), École de Management de Lyon (72), ESSEC (73), Sciences Po Paris (94), Université Pierre et Marie Curie (104), Université Paris-Sud (122).
The Global Employability University Survey and Ranking
The days of ivory towers are over. According to a ground-breaking survey of what recruiters of major companies are looking for in university systems round the world, the only clouds tomorrow’s graduates are to have their heads in are i-clouds. Their feet, meanwhile, should be firmly planted in their field of expertise as a result of practical training and internships. Employability is the no.1 criterion recruiters look at when choosing a university according to 37.1% of respondents.
For the fourth year running, French Human Resources consultancy Emerging has joined forces with German polling institute Trendence to interview 4,500 recruiters in 20 different countries and produce a global picture with a unique ranking of today’s best universities in terms of the employability of graduates, while also obtaining an enlightening vision of tomorrow’s university. This ranking differs from others by focusing less on academic achievement in terms of research and development, more on the working skills of graduates, and by covering a considerably wider range of countries. It is a valuable tool for employers, but also for educational establishments and students.
The findings of this year’s Global Employability survey and ranking answer crucial questions regarding the university of the future, outlining a global model, identifying the secrets behind winning brands known as hotbeds of talent to recruiters, and signalling urgent issues that need to be addressed.
Particularly notable is the globalisation of higher education, on a par with that of employment and information. 60.7% of respondents believe that a global university model is going to arise. “On the whole, the results of this year’s survey and the ensuing ranking confirm that ‘global’ is the key word for tomorrows university”, says Laurent Dupasquier, Associate director of Emerging, who uses a football metaphor to explain this. “The top tier players, global brands (which tend to be all American and British), continue to lead, while other Anglo-Saxon universities, those that are mainly regional players, tend to fare less well, with an average of 5 places lost in comparison with last year. Like the premiere league the champions have an international community of students and think internationally, unlike their more locally oriented counterparts”.
While the top tier remains Anglo-saxon with just under 50 % of the total (3% below last year and with the US accounting for 28%), the remarkable rise of Asian universities in the ranking is a crucial factor. 30 Asian establishments now represent 20% of the total ranking compared with only 10% in the first edition in 2010. This is particularly significant for China (7), where the universities already in the ranking have gone up an average of 5 places, and two new ones have entered the ranking. Also noteworthy are the very good results of South Korea (4 with 2 new entrants) and Hong Kong universities and the rise (albeit from a very poor position) of Indian universities (5 with 2 new entrants).
At this rate it would appear urgent that western stalwarts consider how they can stay in the game.
Colours and crests remain essential. A guarantee of quality, university brands are evolving beyond the traditional ivy league. Borders are being opened up, notably with the aid of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), which are proving a reliable support for branding as well as having a major impact on teaching methods.
Recruiters do appear open to structures that differ from traditional academia. This can be detected in the ranking of French universities and schools, which, despite doing less well as in last year’s edition, with 10 present (- 2), still fare much better than in other rankings, because employability is what the ‘grandes écoles’ (the top schools in higher education) are all about. Spain and Italys’ rapid ascension testify to this.
This success is largely due to close contact with the business world – a point most respondents tend to agree upon: the university of tomorrow must prepare students for the realities of work with a balanced mix of theoretical and practical training. Expertise in one field of competence is the second most important priority to look for when choosing a university according to 32.2% of respondents.
Another lead is that universities with a focus on the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) spectrum of subjects tend to do much better in this ranking. This is exemplified by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and its fellow US STEM specialist the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), which have gained 5 places this year, and by the rise of the technological institutes in Germany and Scandinavian countries. In general, the universities that have some form of technical expertise or specialization tend to do much better this year.
Finally, regarding funding, the ranking also suggests that one solution can be found in small countries, notably in Europe, that have a high wage base and strong public investment which have been shown to do very well, as exemplified by Switzerland (7 universities), Belgium (2), The Netherlands (5) and the Scandinavian countries (8).
On the whole, The 2014 Global Employability ranking indicates that university systems round the world are evolving towards a fundamental reshuffle. We can look forward to further proof of this next year.
Emerging, a human resources consultancy and Tredence, a research institute specializing in personnel marketing and recruiting conducted an online survey in 20 countries worldwide with the objective of describing the ideal university from a corporate perspective. Global Employability University Ranking is the list of the top 150 universities as selected by more than 5000 top international recruiters. More...
When Ministers met in May 2007 in London, they identified employability as one of the priorities for the period leading to the next ministerial conference in April 2009. Employability has been one of the main goals to be achieved with the creation of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) from the very start but many concerns still exist - among employers, students, academics, higher education institutions and governments.
Hence, in April 2012 in Bucharest, the Ministers committed “to enhance the employability and personal and professional development of graduates throughout their careers”to serve Europe’s needs (the Bucharest Communiqué, 2012). The Ministers stressed the role of cooperation between employers, students and higher education institutions in achieving this goal. Furthermore, lifelong learning was acknowledged as one of the important factors in meeting the needs of a changing labour market; and it was also highlighted that higher education institutions play a central role in transferring knowledge and strengthening regional development.
Finally, the Ministers pointed at the learning mobilityas essential to ensure the quality of higher education, enhance students’ employability and expand cross-border collaboration within the EHEA and beyond.
What is employability?
There are many definitions of employability. For the purpose of the Bologna Follow-up Group, employability is defined as the ability to gain initial employment, to maintain employment, and to be able to move around within the labour market.
The role of higher education
Today’s graduates need to combine transversal, multidisciplinary and innovation skills and competences with up-to-date subject-specific knowledge so as to be able to contribute to the wider needs of society and the labour market (the Bucharest Communiqué, 2012). The role of higher education in this context is to equip students with these skills and attributes (knowledge, attitudes and behaviours) that individuals need in the workplace and that employers require, and to ensure that people have the opportunities to maintain or renew those skills and attributes throughout their working lives. At the end of a course, students will thus have an in-depth knowledge of their subject as well as generic employability skills.
2012-2015 Work Programme
For the period 2012-2015, the working groups, ad-hoc working groups and networks, in addition to the specific tasks defined by their respective Terms of Reference, will aim through the policy recommendations developed at the end of their mandate to enhance employability, lifelong learning, transversal, innovative and entrepreneurial skills and stimulate student-centred learning of the graduates.
2007-2009 Work Programme
After the Ministerial Meeting in London in May 2007, the Bologna Follow-up Group set up a working group to provide a report to Ministers for their 2009 conference on how to improve employability in relation to each of the three cycles (with a particular emphasis on the first cycle) as well as in the context of lifelong learning.
Suggested themes to be covered by the report include
* awareness-raising among employers of the value of a bachelors qualification and associated learning outcomes;
* involving employers in devising curricula and curriculum innovation based on learning outcomes;
* provision of careers and guidance services;
* employment and career structures within the public service that are fully compatible with the new degree system;
* recognition of degrees in the labour market across Europe;
* the role of higher education in lifelong learning and continuing professional development.
As one basis for the report, late 2007/early 2008, the employability working group conducted a short informal survey on the issue of employability among the members of the Bologna Follow-up Group.
For preliminary results and an overview of the state of affairs by the end of October 2008, read the employability working group update prepared for the Bologna Seminar in Luxembourg.
"Employability: The Employers' Perspective and its Implications", Luxembourg, 6-7 November 2008
"Enhancing European Employability", Swansea, 14-16 July 2006
"The employability and its links to the objectives of the Bologna Process", Bled, 22-23 October 2004
* International comparative surveys of graduates provide valuable information about the relationship between higher education and employment, e.g. REFLEX project; Careers After Graduation
* The European University Association has initiated a project dealing with employability in the context of doctoral education: DOC-CAREERS Project (2006-2007)
* In 2007, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) coordinated an international project on
University-Enterprise cooperation. More...
IREG-7 Conference: Employability and Academic Rankings – Reflections and Impacts. 14-16 May 2014, London, United Kingdom.
Organized by IREG Observatory on Academic Ranking and Excellence and QS Intelligence Unit, UK.
What does the average student go to university for? By far the most substantial subsequent destination is the world of work. A job. Whilst statistics suggest that a university degree is still, on average, a ticket to better job and a better salary, with the massification of global higher education it has become a hirers’ market and employers are beginning to expect and even demand that graduates are more than their degree certificate. As the cost of higher education escalates around the world, students are turning to their universities expecting to be equipped with the skills employers are seeking.
Wednesday, 14th May 2014
Whole day: Arrival of participants
14.30 - 18.00 Meeting of Executive Committee of IREG Observatory (closed session)
[location: to be announced]
18.30 - 20.30 Welcome Reception
The Cloisters, University College London
Thursday, 15th May 2014
8.00 - 9.00 Registration
9:00 - 9:15 Opening Session and Welcome:
Nunzio Quacquarelli, Managing Director, QS Quacquarelli Symonds
Michael Arthur, President & Provost, University College London
Jan Sadlak, President of IREG Observatory
9:15 - 11:30 First Session: Employability of Graduates: The Corporate Perspective[s]
Moderator: Stephen Isherwood, Chief Executive, Association of Graduate Recruiters, United Kingdom
During this session panellists representing employers or other bodies – private and public sector - will present their institutional experience and views with regard to current and future developments determining employability of graduates and human resources development [whenever appropriate referring to use of global, national and professional rankings for various decision making in the areas of employment].
- Christian Schutz, Global Head of University Relations, Human Resources, Siemens AG, Germany
- Representative of Airbus [name to be provided]; [names of further speakers on this panel will be provided in the next updated version of the programme]
11.45 - 13:00 Second Session: Employability and Skills Structure - A Lens for Assessing Performance of Higher Education Institutions and Study Programmes
Chair: Klaus Hüfner, Professor Emeritus, Free University of Berlin; IREG Audit Coordinator, Germany
- Marian Mahat, LH Marting Institute for Tertiary Education Leadership and Management, University of Melbourne, Australia, and Benoît Millot, [former Lead Education Economist at The World Bank], France: Rankings and Employability: A System and Institutional Perspective
- Vincent Han-Sun Chiang, Professor and President, Fu Jen Catholic University, and Angela Yung Chi Hou, Professor, Graduate Institute of Educational Leadership and Development, Dean, Office of International Education, Fu Jen Catholic University, Taiwan: Building Student Core Competencies and Enhancing Their International Employability Skills in Taiwan Higher Education: A Case study of Fu Jen Catholic University
- Ana Lebre, Universidade Europeia, and Joana Motta, Lecturer and Researcher, Universidade Europeia, Portugal: Portuguese Private Universities – Reputation for Employability
- Euiho Suh, Professor and Chair, University Evaluation & Management Committee, Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH), Korea: [title to be provided]
14.00 - 15:30 Third Session: Institutional and National Experience and Perspectives on Employability-related Challenges and Responsibilities
Moderator: Khaled A.S. AL-Rasheid, Director; Distinguished Scientist Fellowship Programme, King Saud University, Saudi Arabia
- how they are dealing with the challenge of preparing employable graduates as well as facilitating their professional development;
- experience with corporate sector, public institutions and ranking organizations in relation to employability of the graduates.
- Seskar-Hencic, Daniela, Associate Director, Institutional Analysis and Planning, and Carson, Jana, Manager, Institutional Evaluation and Accountability, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada: Using Survey Methodologies for Assessing Graduate Employability Outcomes – Two Examples from the Ontario System and the University of Waterloo
- Mircea Dumitru, Rector, University of Bucharest, and Magdalena Platis, Vice-rector, University of Bucharest, Romania: Employability and the Students’ Motivations for Higher Education Studies; Institutional Changes
- Shelley Kinash, Director for Learning and Teaching, Bond University, Australia: Learning from the Employability Successes of Other Universities: Analysis and Recommendations from a National Case Study – Australia
- Jamilya Nurmanbetova, Professor and First Vice-Rector, and Aigerim Shilibekova, Director of International Cooperation, Gumilyov Eurasian National University, Kazakhstan: Impact of Academic Rankings on Internationalization Strategy: Case of Gumilyov Eurasian National University
Chair: Waldemar Siwiński, President of Perspektywy Education Foundation; Vice-President of IREG-Observatory, Poland
- Yan Wu, Center for World-Class Universities, and Nian Cai Liu, Dean of the Graduate School of Education, Shanghai Jiao Tong, University; Vice-President of IREG-Observatory, China: Employment-Related Indicators for Academic Rankings
- Jan Garlicki, Professor, the University of Warsaw, Poland: "Perspektywy" University Ranking – how to gather reliable employers’ opinions on universities
- Olesya Lynovytska, Director, Scientific Research Institute of Applied Information Technologies, Ukraine: Need of Reconciliation of Higher Education and the World of Work: Experience of Ukrainian University Rankings
- Ben Sowter, Head of Division, QS Intelligence Unit, United Kingdom: Driving response and deriving discerning metrics from employer surveys
17:30 - 18:30 Fifth Session: New International Academic Rankings
Chair: Nian Cai Liu, Dean of the Graduate School of Education, Shanghai Jiao Tong, University; Vice-President of IREG-Observatory, Shanghai, China
- Gianfranco Lucchese, University of Bergamo, Italy: Analysis of the Scientific Production on International University Rankings
- Bob Morse, Director of Data Research, US News & World Report, USA: The US News Arab Region University Rankings Project: Responding to Regional Needs and Expectations
- Phil Baty, Editor of Times Higher Education Rankings and Editor at Large of Times Higher Education, United Kingdom: Times Higher Education: BRICS & Emerging Economies Rankings
- Gero Federkeil, Manager-in-charge of Rankings, CHE - Center for Higher Education; Member of U-Multirank Consortium, Vice-President of IREG Observatory, Germany
- Ben Sowter, Head of Division, QS Intelligence Unit, United Kingdom: Mapping uncharted territory: Recent and future developments from the QS Intelligence Unit, by type, region and subject.
- U-Multirank: First Results
19:30 - 21:30 Conference Gala Diner
[location: Holiday Inn London, Regent's Park, Carburton Street]
Friday, 16th May 2014
9:00 - 10:30 Sixth Session:Analyses, Initiatives and Developments Relevant to Academic Rankings
Chair: Luiz Claudio Costa, President, National Institute for Educational Studies and Research Anisio Teixeira (INEP), Brazil
- Angelika Lex, Director Academic & Government Relations, Elsevier, The Netherlands: A New Research Evaluation framework: Elsevier's Latest Developments
- Tom Parker, Senior Associate, Institute for Higher Education Policy, Washington, DC, USA: US Administration Proposal to Create a Federal College Ratings System: Purpose and Approach
- Marina Dobrota, Milica Bulajic and Veljko Jeremić, University of Belgrad, Serbia: A way to enhance methodology of Perspektywy University Ranking
- Liliya Kiriyanova, Associate Professor, Head of Communication policy division, Tomsk Polytechnic University, Russia: New Initiatives and Developments in Academic Rankings: The Russian Experience
Chair: Gero Federkeil, Manager-in-charge of Rankings, CHE - Center for Higher Education; Vice-President of IREG Observatory, Germany
- Paola Mattei, University Lecturer in Comparative Social Policy and Fellow of the European Studies Centre, St Antony’s College, Oxford University, United Kingdom: Reflection on the Emerging International Landscape of Higher Education [based on findings of the book entitled “University Adaptation at Difficult Times”, edited by Paola Mattei which has been released by the Oxford University Press in April 2014]
- Nikita Avralev, Vice-Rector for Public Relationsand Irina Efimova, Head, Public Relations Office, Lobachevsky State University of Nizhni Novgorod, Russia: Global University Rankings As a Tool for Development of Integration Process between Higher Education Institutions and Employers: Russian Peculiarities
- Chiara Mio and Achille Giacometti, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Italy: Sustainability in University Rankings: New Proposal for Rankings
- Marina Markova, Associate Professor and Corporate Relations Coordinator, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia: Sustainable Development of the University and Graduates Competitiveness on Labour Market Based on Mutually Beneficial Interaction
12.30 - 13:30 Final Session: Discussion and Closing Remarks
Co-Chairs: Ben Sowter, Head of Division, QS Intelligence Unit, United Kingdom and Jan Sadlak, President of IREG Observatory
14:15 - 16:15 General Assembly of IREG Observatory (members only)
16:30 - 18:30 Meeting of the Executive Committee of IREG Observatory (closed session).
By Karin Fischer. Colleges strive to translate students' experience for employers. Cheryl Matherly was going through résumés with a hiring manager for a major consulting firm when she had her "aha" moment.
Like many employers, the campus recruiter put a premium on the ability of potential hires to succeed in unfamiliar situations with co-workers from different backgrounds and cultures. Ms. Matherly, then assistant dean of students for career and international education at Rice University, thought she had the perfect candidate, a history major who had won a scholarship to conduct three months of solo research in Spain. The value of his having navigated working alone in a foreign country, she thought, was obvious.
But the recruiter pushed the résumé aside, dismissing the student's experience as a "backpacking trip through Europe," Ms. Matherly recalls. "That's what it boiled down to for him." "It spoke volumes to me about how employers commonly view an overseas-study experience," she says. The discrepancy isn't unusual. Even in an increasingly global economy, few companies set out to hire recent graduates who have studied or interned abroad. More than one survey of employers ranks international study low among cocurricular activities in its relevance to the workplace.
One problem, argues Ms. Matherly, who is now assistant provost for global education at the University of Tulsa, is that students don't know how to talk about their time overseas in a way that is meaningful to employers. So, she set out to design workshops and seminars to help students do just that. "The value isn't that you had the abroad experience itself," she says. "It's what you learned overseas that allows you to work in a cross-cultural environment. Students have to learn how to talk about that experience in terms of transferrable skills, how it relates to what an employer wants."
One challenge is the nature of the hiring process. While executives may recognize the importance of hiring employees with international experience, recruiters typically have more focused goals. "They're looking for a dozen engineers, a dozen accountants," says Ralph Brigham, global director of campus relations at Southwestern Company, a company that sells educational products and a past president of the National Association of Colleges and Employers. "They're not thinking about how, in the long term, an international experience might pay off."
The roots of study abroad's perception problem, many in the field agree, is that it has historically been seen as an add-on, a perk for wealthy students at selective colleges. That view is reinforced by the demographics: Although students from a wider swath of majors are going overseas, and to more diverse destinations, the typical participant still is a white woman in the humanities or social sciences. Europe, rather than Asia, with its growing business and economic clout, remains the top destination. It's not just employers' attitudes that must be changed. College career-office staff members often know little about overseas study or its employment value. And study-abroad advisers typically focus on getting students overseas, not on what happens once they return.
What's more, colleges' organizational structures can mean that interaction between study-abroad and career counselors is rare. Frequently, the two groups are housed in different offices and report to different supervisors.
Because study-abroad and career staffers are unlikely to meet over the water cooler, colleges need to be deliberate in their efforts to build connections, says Martin Tillman, a former associate director of career services at the Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies. "Campuses have to be proactive," says Mr. Tillman, a higher-education consultant and longtime expert on career development and international study.
Developing a Narrative
At Rice, an unusual administrative setup meant that both offices reported to Ms. Matherly. Even there, however, Ms. Matherly says she had to work to build bridges between the two, through small but concrete steps, like inviting career counselors to contribute a section to the university's study-abroad handbook about doing a job search from overseas. Employees from each department also attended relevant workshops put on by the other.
A number of institutions and some third-party providers are getting involved in similar efforts to help students translate their study-abroad experience into terms employers can understand. One of those companies, Cultural Experiences Abroad, has fashioned a semester-long career-development course, now offered as a pilot at two of its European sites, in Florence and Paris. The optional program includes pre-arrival reading assignments, Webinars with career consultants, and regular meetings that incorporate experiential exercises and journal writing.
For example, students might participate in business simulations or be asked to do specific tasks, such as applying for a local library membership; they then reflect on cultural distinctions they encountered and the skills they used to navigate those differences. If the pilot takes off, CEA administrators plan to check back in with students after they return to their home campuses and help them connect with career offices there, says Kevin J.F. Murphy, the Italy academic dean and campus director.
Some colleges have developed their own programs to better integrate international study and career planning. The University of Michigan, for one, offers a dozen panel discussions each year on what it calls "international career pathways," most of which focus on how students can put their overseas experience to use in particular fields, such as global health or the environment. At the Georgia Institute of Technology—where nearly half of all students have a cooperative-education experience, many overseas—the Work Abroad Program helps place students in international internships and jobs and advises them on marketing such study and work to global employers, says Debbie Gulick, the program's director.
When Ms. Matherly began her work at Rice back in the mid-1990s, she says, she had few models to emulate. Rather than requiring formal training for career and study-abroad staff members, she says she encouraged them to learn more about each other's roles through working together: co-sponsoring panel discussions on international careers, compiling print materials to help guide students in internship and job searches, and leading re-entry programs for students back from overseas study.
A development that helped spur further cooperation, Ms. Matherly says, was growing student interest in working overseas, both before and after graduation. At Rice, she hired students to serve as advisers to their peers who sought internships or work abroad. That's a position she hopes to replicate at the University of Tulsa.
Out of that interest grew a conference and study tour that exposed students to global careers in Asia, which Ms. Matherly continued when she moved to Tulsa in 2006. Another effort, a summer nanotechnology-research program for freshmen and sophomores in Japan, earned National Science Foundation support.
Built into the NanoJapan program, as the latter is known, are weekly sessions aimed at getting students to think about the real-world skills they are learning overseas. As part of discussions and writing assignments, Ms. Matherly and other leaders encourage students to think about questions such as, "Why do research abroad, rather than at a well-regarded university closer to home?" (One answer might be to understand how people may bring different sets of assumptions to research problems, depending on their cultural background.)
In one instance, a missed tram in a small Japanese town became a lesson in using problem-solving skills in an unfamiliar environment, in which students knew little of the local language. In workshops and in one-on-one advising, Ms. Matherly and her advisers try to break down overseas experiences to help students see how what they learned abroad can been adapted to the workplace. "We want to help students develop a narrative for employers, not just give them a list of internships and activities," says Jacqueline Hing, interim director of the Center for Student Professional Development at Rice. "It puts their experience abroad in terms of what an employer is looking for."
Ms. Hing's own experience abroad, helping Rice's then-sister institution, the International University Bremen, set up its career-placement office, made her more attuned to opportunities overseas and gave her firsthand insight into cultural and workplace differences. A growing number of career counselors are going abroad, through the Fulbright International Education Administrators Program. When Ms. Matherly won a short-term grant to study in Germany through the program, in 1996, she says she was the only one of her group of 15 from the career side. Last year one of her staff members at Tulsa went on the same program; that time, half of the participants were from career services, she says.
Still, Ms. Matherly says it can sometimes be easier to get career counselors on board than study-abroad advisers, because it is a natural extension of career-services work to help students put their experiences in terms relevant to employers. Study-abroad advisers have been slower to adapt, she says, because they tend to deal with students on the front end of the process. But Mr. Tillman, the higher-education consultant, says that may be changing, as students focus more intently on job prospects in the economic downturn. "We're moving from the idea that study abroad is inherently a good thing—which it is," he says, "to thinking more about the utilitarian benefits of going overseas."