Returned With Foreign Degree? You Have Big Job Ahead Of You.

Thursday, Jul 4, 2013, 14:02 IST | Agency: DNA

Priyanka Golikeri

Several youngsters, Who have returned after pursuing courses abroad, are finding it tough to bag a job here.

Anita Prabhu, 24, returned from UK last October with an MSc in Psychology and a bagful of dreams, hoping to use her degree doing research. In April this year, Anita found herself working with an NGO that works with street kids in the city. Her pay is minuscule and, needless to say, the job of teaching street kids doesn’t do justice to her educational qualification.

Anita contacted recruitment agencies, headhunters, even posted her CV on job portals, but to no avail.

Anita’s plight is the story of many - who find bagging a job suitable to their qualifications and expectations, after returning with an overseas degree - an exasperating ordeal.

According to job experts, doing an international course is one thing, but getting a job with a decent pay here is a different ballgame. You might as well have to begin from scratch in some firm, or settle for a job that pays a pittance; unless your resume boasts of a degree from Yale, Harvard, Oxford or Stanford.

 Foreign degrees do not have much impact on recruiters,” says Sunil Goel, director of search firm GlobalHunt. “It can probably make a difference if the candidate has done internships after the course.”   

   But internships are near impossible to get, with student visas prohibiting working; and no work experience, alongside a foreign degree from a lesser known college, translates to a long job-hunt back home.

Anita’s three friends, who have done courses in bio-medical, international relations and computer science from the US and the UK, are still jobless. “They have applied wherever possible. Just that some places are offering very low pay, or they are not getting a profile that matches their education,” says Anita

Sandhya V, who has a masters in microbiology from Singapore, managed to get a job as a biology teacher in a CBSE school some months ago, after almost a year of a job hunting.

Sandhya says she was keen on joining a pharma or biotech firm, but no offers came her way.

“So, finally I had to settle for teaching class 9 kids for a monthly salary of Rs20,000,” she says.

Expert Tips 

 HR experts advise students to clarify their career goals before going abroad. “Often students come back for jobs. So, please figure out the job potential here for the course,” says the HR manager of a ITeS firm.

Secondly, it is better to take a work sabbatical and pursue a course, rather than quitting. “Many firms offer sabbaticals. That saves you the rigours of job hunting.”

Lastly, it is better to take up some job like Sandhya and Prabhu, than wait for the perfect one.

Over 2 lakh Indian students are presently studying abroad, as per estimates by Unesco Institute of Statistics.

In the UK, PG courses could cost an annual 10,000 GBP as tuition fees, with another 8,000-10,000 GBP per year as living expenses.

In Canada, annual tuition fees could average 13,000 Canadian dollars, while annual living expenses could come up to 10,000 Canadian dollars.