Overseas education has become extremely popular among Indian students and parents. The number of Indian students choosing to study abroad has been consistently high over the years. According to data from the Bureau of Immigration, the number of Indian students traveling abroad for higher education in 2021 increased by more than 58% compared to the previous year when universities around the world were closed due to lockdowns. This is despite the global spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. No fewer than 2,60,312 Indian students went abroad for their studies in 2020, while this increased to 4,45,498 in 2021. Indian parents’ spending to sponsor their children’s foreign education is also rising. It is expected to rise to $80 billion in 2024, from $28 billion in 2021.
Higher education degrees from globally renowned foreign universities serve as a gateway to high paying jobs around the world including in India. Globally recognized international universities have higher average placements compared to Indian universities. According to a comparative study, the average annual salaries after placements at certain Indian universities were $5,000 to $10,000, while those from the UK yielded $80,000 to $1,000,000 per year.
There are several facets of overseas education that help Indian students achieve life-changing career opportunities. Let’s take a closer look at a few:
Boost your resume: Large multinational companies prefer candidates with international exposure for global positions. Foreign education also allows you to add desirable skills to your resume, such as a second language, adaptability, cultural sensitivity, and networking ability. Global visibility on your resume gives you a head start.
Learn to thrive in a diverse environment: Companies are now paying much more attention to diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the workplace. According to a McKinsey report, most diverse companies are more likely to outperform their less diverse competitors in terms of profitability. Candidates with successful higher education experience abroad have great opportunities to thrive in a diverse business setup as they are already exposed to different ethnic, cultural, linguistic, religious and nationalistic diversities.
Specialized Programs Not Available in India: In-demand specializations such as data science, artificial intelligence, digital marketing, cybersecurity, ethical hacking, and ecotechnology are not readily available as full-time courses in Indian universities. Overseas education allows students to specialize in these emerging areas that are important to prepare for future careers. A survey shows that these new areas of specialization take precedence over traditional courses for 52% of Indian students wishing to study abroad.
Long-term personal growth: The impact of a foreign education on long-term personal growth can be enormous. Past research has shown that participating in a study abroad program significantly influences students’ lives in terms of personal growth, professional development and behavioral changes. With international education, students develop versatile life skills. Spending time in another country can help increase cognitive skills such as flexibility, creativity and complex problem solving, while positively improving social skills such as empathy and tolerance, which are crucial to quickly climb the professional ladder.
Improves employability abroad: Indian students who go abroad for higher education are more likely to work abroad. A study has shown a direct link between studying abroad and the development of skills that can contribute to jobs and career advancement in the current workforce. Foreign education is linked to greater hiring capacity and higher starting salaries. Students who choose foreign campuses will also have the opportunity to network with international colleagues and human resources managers. Students can articulate international experiences and intercultural skills in both their resume and interviews. This gives them a better chance of succeeding in a global and dynamic working atmosphere.
One way forward
Jobs and careers have taken on a whole new meaning, especially since the pandemic. You cannot afford to hold onto a single job or limited skills to survive in the labor market until retirement. The new normal is to have multiple skills, strong networks and shorter job durations to navigate complex work environments. Technology-led disruptions in various sectors have made stable jobs a thing of the past.
Workers must be able to move and change careers quickly, given the dynamic nature of the modern world, which has rendered the idea of job security obsolete. This sentiment is growing and is confirmed by many reports and articles describing the future of work. Overseas education can prepare Indian students for such careers. Studying abroad exposes students to huge opportunities that they might not take advantage of while studying in India. In addition to jobs and salaries, studying abroad also has transformational potential as it exposes students to the best education systems and international communities, preparing them for the globally interconnected careers of the future.
The above views are those of the author.
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