How Digital Credentials Benefit International Students' Employment Journey

    International education is a rapidly growing economic sector. Higher education institutions that can effectively tap into this demand with digital credentials have the opportunity to enhance their institutional growth greatly. 
    calendar-plus-01 May 22, 2023
    user-circle Credly Team
    hourglass-01 6 min read
    A diverse group of international students engaged in a classroom discussion

    International education is a rapidly growing economic sector. At present, 5.6 million students – equivalent to the population of Singapore – study overseas, a 250% increase since 2000. And this number is predicted to grow to at least eight million by 2030. Higher education institutions that can effectively tap into this demand have the opportunity to greatly enhance their institutional growth.

    According to UCAS, students prioritize securing employment in their destination country, ranking it five times higher than other factors when selecting where to study. But the reality is that international students face unique challenges spanning enrolment to post-graduation employment.

    A major hurdle is the successful evaluation of their overseas qualifications. Some overseas educational institutions or programs may not be well-known or recognized by employers in the student's desired destination country. This lack of recognition poses a barrier when seeking employment. Research shows that over 56% of international students face job search challenges and 70% of international job seekers do not get a job in their field of study.

    This challenge is further exacerbated by the prevalence of credential fraud, leading employers to approach qualifications issued by foreign or lesser-known institutions with skepticism. Unfortunately, implementing comprehensive authentication and verification processes to address this concern can be both time-consuming and costly.

    As a result, students who were looking to study oversea may hesitate if institutions fail to offer improved employment prospects. Additionally, many international students face psychological and emotional challenges when transitioning to a new country, including separation from friends and family and adapting to an unfamiliar culture.

    Considering the dedication and investment that many students make when studying abroad, higher education institutions must address their needs in order to benefit from the additional revenues they bring to both the institution and the wider community. Only then will they successfully attract this important group and provide them with the long-term value they seek.

    Digital credentials are one way to deliver this value, as they provide a range of benefits for overseas students. In this article, we explore the various benefits digital credentials can offer to international students.

    The Tangible Benefits of Digital Credentials

    Digital credentials offer verified proof of a learner’s competency and skills. They’re a smarter, data-rich alternative to traditional paper-based certificates, providing earners with a shareable portfolio of verifiable achievements that can continue to grow through the course of their careers. Here’s how digital credentials can bring tangible and long-term benefits to international students, addressing their distinctive challenges.

    1. Increased credibility and trustworthiness

    Digital credentials leverage blockchain technology to create transparent and tamper-proof records of students' educational accomplishments. These verified credentials provide international students with a means to reassure academic institutions and potential employers of their validity, removing the application barrier.

    1. Demonstrate diverse skills and competencies

    77% of employers believe soft skills are just as important as hard skills. That’s why many higher education institutions now offer them as part of their courses. When these skills are supported by digital credentials, international students can demonstrate not only the knowledge they gained in their degree but also these additional, highly sought-after competencies. Moreover, by sharing these skills and achievements online with prospective institutions, employers, or scholarship providers, it expands the students’ network and boosts employability.

    1. Build a personal profile

    Research shows that 70% of companies use social media screening during the hiring process, while Robert Walters says that 95% of job seekers have at least one job-focused social media profile. In order to stand out in an increasingly competitive labor market, overseas students can utilize digital credentials to develop a strong personal profile on social media to highlight their academic credentials, soft skills, and relevant extra-curricular activities.

    Breaking Barriers

    As demand for international education continues to grow, higher education institutions need to help students achieve their long-term objectives. Digital credentials help overseas students overcome barriers related to the recognition of foreign qualifications, allowing them to share their skills and achievements online to expand their networks and differentiate themselves in a competitive market to increase their chances of securing job opportunities.

    If you would like to learn more about how to implement a digital credential program to boost your international student recruitment strategy and its benefits to your institution, download our whitepaper: “Accelerating International Student Recruitment with Digital Credentials: Strategies and Benefits.”

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