Students who go abroad will have better career opportunities

Students who have studied abroad under the ERASMUS programme get a job easier than students who did not. They are less vulnerable to unemployment and have greater chances to achieve management positions. That is a key result of the ERASMUS Impact Study (EIS) undertaken by CHE Consult on behalf of the European commission in 2013. Recently published regional analyses show that results differ depending on the region. For students from Eastern and Southern Europe positive effects are strongest.

"The study is based on a survey of 57,000 students, nearly 19,000 alumni, and more than 650 employers", explains project leader Uwe Brandenburg. "It certainly is the largest database available for corresponding analyses. Our method continues to be unique. The study is based on the analytical tool memo©, which helps us to show the impact of study periods spent abroad on the student’s personality development. Studying abroad has a positive impact on personality traits that employers consider to be particularly important."

Students who decide to go abroad in the moment of decision already show higher values in the personality traits mentioned above than students who do not plan a study period in another country. However, before-after studies demonstrate that more than half of the Erasmus students (52 percent) are even able to increase their lead over their fellow students who "stay at home". The recently published study breaks down the data into four regions (East, West, North, South).

It appears that the career-enhancing qualities of a study period spent abroad are most significant for students from Eastern and Southern Europe. For example, after 12 months from the end of their studies Erasmus alumni are unemployed only half as often as non-mobile graduates (two vs. four percent). In case of Eastern Europe the ratio is even one vs. six percent; for Southern Europe it is three vs. six percent. The regions Northern and Western Europe have a ratio of two vs. three percent. Moreover, Erasmus alumni from Eastern Europe are especially likely to climb the career ladder to leading positions. Five to eight years after their studies 70 percent of Erasmus students hold executive positions, in contrast to 41 percent of graduates who did not spend study periods abroad.

"The identified pattern reflects the economic situation in the regions in many ways", says Brandenburg. "The benefits of outgoing mobility are particularly important for participants who come from a region in which the labor market is in troubled conditions."

The study is available for download
More information on memo©


Lars Hüning+49 30 2332267-56Write e-mail