Employers Value Int’l Experience

Source: NYTimes, Oct 2013

The third annual Global Employability Survey, designed and commissioned by the French education consulting firm Emerging and carried out by the German market research firm Trendence, asked recruiters and senior international executives to profile an ideal university graduate — and the ideal university producing such graduates.

Recruiters are more and more acting and thinking globally,” said Laurent Dupasquier, associate director of Emerging. Multinational companies are increasingly widening their recruitment pool, he said: Although the ranking’s top 20, led by Oxford, Harvard and Cambridge, still reads like most conventional academic listings, institutions that focus on providing graduates with a broad skill set are winning more recognition, irrespective of their country or region.

“It’s a complete globalization of the system,” said Mr. Dupasquier: not only are more recruiters looking across borders for hires, but national recruiters are increasingly looking for the same thing in graduates: work experience and practical know-how, social and communication skills, motivation and willingness to learn, rather than narrowly focused academic qualifications.

… setting aside questions about the sample base, the survey offers some insights into recruitment attitudes. While about half the recruiters said that teaching practical know-how, the ability to combine theoretical with practical knowledge and soft skills were the most important characteristics of an ideal university, they put surprisingly little value on the school’s international exposure and outlook.

Internationalism is something recruiters say they look for in the individual job-seeker, not the institution.

“We look for people that have a global mind-set,” said Dan Black, the Americas director of recruiting at Ernst & Young. “It’s people that are open to and excited about working with people from other cultures.”

According to the survey, in which Mr. Black did not take part, graduates from the United States, Britain and Germany were most favored by recruiters.

MOOCs — massive open online courses — also figure in this year’s survey, with a majority of recruiters viewing their use in post-secondary education favorably, according to Emergence.

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