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Study abroad and set yourself up for post-graduate success

The choices you make on graduate studies abroad and their impact on your career path.

In this blog, we have emphasized, time and time again, the overall benefits of graduate studies abroad. In this post, we will focus on how your choices on studying abroad can boost your professional and academic career and help you find a job after you graduate.

Choosing the right program and finding a job

Targeting the right field of study, the right country, the right school and the right program are crucial for being able to find a good job that matches your skills and aspirations and can also support you financially after you graduate. For instance, if you are interested in studying literature in the US, but would like to become a school teacher after you graduate, the cost of coming to the US and paying $50,000 a year for tuition and costs of living may prove to be overwhelming to cover through a school teacher salary and may cause you to live in debt for a long time. Some people choose to do so, but you should be aware of the costs and choose accordingly.

Your choice of study program should depend on your long-term career aspirations. Do you want to be a professor or a teacher? Are you interested in being a doctor or a nurse? Do you want to work in the private or in the public sector, non or for profit? In business?

If you would like to work in academia and are seeking a Ph.D. in your field of interest, you may be able to find programs that offer a full scholarship and a stipend for your living expenses, with a commitment from you to be in the program for 5 years. This option helps with the financial constraints and allows international graduate students to choose fields of study that are not necessarily connected to high paying jobs after graduation. Some schools may even offer an entry-level job to Ph.D. graduates which will allow you to search for a long-term job.

If you are seeking to be a government employee or are already a government employee (e.g. in Japan), you may be able to obtain funding from your government for studies abroad, and upgrade your career status by studying abroad and returning to work for your home country with a prestigious degree.

If you would like to use your international studies as a way to immigrate to another country and work there after graduation, you should definitely consider your fields of interest and the options available in that market and see if there is a good match. Graduate school is all about specialization in a field. Targeted fields like law, business, sciences and more, offer opportunities to find jobs in your destination country following graduation. You should, however, be aware that evolving realities, such as the 2008 financial crisis can significantly impact the chances of finding a job as a foreigner.

As you face these decisions, you should consult with people who have been through this process before and can advise you. GradTrain will soon offer you that connection. You can sign up already now and we will keep you updated on news, advice and when we launch our services.

Weighing the quality of the program

Especially in the US, the quality of the program you choose will to a large degree determine your chances of finding a good job after graduation. At times you may face a tough decision. You may get accepted to a less prestigious program and receive full financial support, or you may get accepted to a more prestigious program and have to pay for it yourself. These are difficult decisions and sometimes the short term decision to go to a lower ranked school due to financial difficulties will end up costing more in the long term, since you will not find a high paying job that will support you in the future. You may save some money during school, but the following years may be tougher as you search for employment and are at a less advantageous position due to the ranking of the school you chose.

Do your research! Find out how programs are ranked and where their graduates find jobs. Talk to people who have studied there and use the data tools that GradTrain provides to inform your decision.

Feel free to comment and share some of your experiences on how your choice of graduate programs abroad impacted your career.


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