October 22, 2010

Business Jobs Abroad for Recent Grads

An article on today’s ABC News on Campus section tackled the ongoing trend for students who, facing a recession and limited job market upon college graduation, are looking for alternatives to the traditional U.S. job market, and more and more they are looking for these alternatives abroad.

According to the article, India, China and the Middle East are the top choices out there for people looking to get into American businesses abroad – most of the companies hiring are actually U.S. based companies who are expanding into new markets.

This is an alternative that many people don’t think about when they are looking to gain employment abroad – most people think first of things like the Peace Corps or teaching English abroad. But with international markets not necessarily mimicking the U.S. recession, opportunities for people in business and marketing abound.

What kind of international  jobs in business are available to recent graduates?

For those with degrees in Business Administration, so smaller companies that might deal in a seemingly mundane industry (like scrap metal in China, in the ABC News article)  need energetic salesman who are willing to travel all over the world on behalf of the company. If you are someone who has been bitten by the travel bug, loves people and feels comfortable with change, this kind of position might be for you. There is no silver bullet to getting this type of job, and you’ll probably have to broaden some of your usual search terms, but the benefits might seriously outweigh the extra time that you put into the job search process. Sales jobs overseas are often posted on Monster.com and Careerbuilder.com.

Human Resources is another potentially lucrative industry when looking to find jobs abroad as a recent college graduate. Well, maybe not an industry in it’s own right, but definitely a subset of many business management jobs abroad. The appeal of hiring an English-speaking HR assistant or executive for many international companies is that it allows them to reach out to  people in many parts of the world for recruiting purposes. Of course, a support job like HR will likely require that you speak the language of the country in which you are working, in addition to English.

When you are thinking about jobs abroad, you should make sure that you do some thinking “outside the box”. You might consider taking a job on the business or administrative side of a popular industry, such as oil and mining. A large amount of the world’s oil production comes from countries outside of the U.S., and there are many oil jobs in Europe and the Middle East that are off of the oil rig itself. This includes areas like human resources, logistics and other entry-level operations jobs for recent graduates.

You might also want to consider travel and tourism jobs abroad if you have a business administration degree.

While you many not have focused on hotel or restaurant management in your undergraduate studies, most of the skill that you learned will be transferable to the tourism industry, and most major hotel chains offer extensive executive training programs for recent graduates looking to join the ever growing international tourism market. A great place to look for tourism jobs is the Middle East or China, which are becoming hot spots for international business travel, and are being developed somewhat rapidly.  These hotel and resort jobs abroad are looking for people who can handle finances, sales, public relations and marketing.

Again, if you are worried about the current job market as you prepare to graduate from college, start to think creatively about your options around the world. You’d be surprise at the level of positions available to people who are willing to travel and are ready for adventure. And these jobs can offer great business and management experience for your next job, whether it is in the U.S., or abroad.

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