Some 56% of Prospective Students Prioritize High Graduate Employment Rates When Selecting a University

Key Takeaways:

  • When prospective students select a college or university, 56% consider the graduate employment rate to be the most crucial graduate outcome metric.
  • 41% of applicants plan to stay in the country where they are studying for one to six years, while 15% intend to settle there permanently.
  • In choosing a course, prospective students prioritize their desire to acquire new skills (59%), the potential for higher-level qualifications (53%), and the opportunity to gain international experience (51%).

Studying abroad is a life-changing experience for many students seeking an international education. It exposes them to different ways of life, promotes understanding and tolerance, and opens doors to unique opportunities. Research indicates that students who study abroad tend to excel academically, have lower attrition rates, and achieve higher graduation rates compared to those who don’t.

This underscores the notion that studying abroad is one of the best ways to acquire global skills and access personal and professional opportunities, making it an invaluable experience that not only broadens horizons but also equips individuals with the tools for success in an increasingly interconnected world.

Is it playing a big role for prospective international students when choosing a university abroad? Yes, it is. In fact, the report said that 95% of students found the exchange experience as useful with regard to their future career plans.

India Today reported that more than 1.3 million Indian students were enrolled in 79 different countries in 2022. Popular destinations for Indian students now include the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Australia, Canada, Ireland, the United Arab Emirates, and Germany. These countries are witnessing an increasing influx of international students each year, allowing students to customize their academic and professional profiles to match their preferences. 

Important Measures When Choosing a University

Graduate outcomes are increasingly important to prospective students, especially international students who are considering studying abroad. A recent survey reveals that for 56% of candidates, the graduate employment rate is the most influential metric when choosing a university. 

This is unsurprising, given the fact that so many international students hope to stay in their study country either temporarily or permanently after graduation. In the same survey, 41% of candidates indicated they plan to remain in the host country for one to six years, with an additional 15% intending to establish permanent residence.

How can universities and colleges support students in their academic journey? One way universities can showcase the success stories of recent graduates who have landed good jobs in their field, illustrating the tangible impact of a degree from their university. Additionally, institutions should make it clear to students that they have access to career counseling, job placement assistance, and other resources designed to help them find employment after graduation. Furthermore, fostering partnerships with employers to offer internships, co-op placements, and other opportunities for students to gain practical experience can help students build their resumes and establish professional connections in their chosen fields.

Key Considerations When Choosing a Course Abroad

So, what factors weigh most heavily on the minds of those eyeing their future careers? 

Topping the list is the students’ hunger for knowledge and personal growth. A staggering 59% of candidates revealed that their primary concern when choosing a course is whether it allows them to learn new skills. This is a testament to the ever-evolving nature of the job market, which requires adaptability and a continuous pursuit of knowledge. 

For 53% of candidates, the opportunity to progress to a higher level qualification is a pivotal consideration. This echoes a thirst for personal development and the pursuit of excellence, making it evident that educational journeys are not finite but rather stepping stones to higher levels of achievement.

Moreover, an impressive 51% of candidates emphasize the importance of international experience is an essential factor when choosing their course, reflecting a desire to broaden horizons, gain a global perspective, and harness the potential of an interconnected world. 

Moving forward

These statistics highlight a pivotal shift in the priorities of both prospective and current students. Universities must acknowledge and address this shift effectively. To attract and retain students, institutions must emphasize their commitment to supporting graduates in their transition to the workforce, extending beyond traditional classroom education. Remember, it is not just about educating students but also about equipping them with the tools and opportunities they need to thrive in a diverse and competitive job market. (RAGHWA GOPAL)


Raghwa Gopal is a serial entrepreneur, academic, and software engineer by profession. Drawing from extensive business experience, Raghwa joined MSM from British Columbia’s Innovate BC, serving as president and CEO and helping companies start and scale to fuel technology development, commercialization, and adoption. As Accelerate Okanagan’s (AO) former CEO, he was a driving force in development of the tech sector, with a CA$1.6-billion economic contribution.


Raghwa studied at New Zealand’s Central Institute of Technology, Australia’s Collier MacMillan School, and the University of the South Pacific. He has strong ties to higher education as a former lecturer of business at UBC Okanagan, computer science at the School of Arts and Sciences, and entrepreneur-in-residence at Okanagan College School of Business.

His board memberships span across multiple organizations, such as the University of British Columbia, the India Canada Innovation Council, the Women’s Enterprise Centre, and the Province of British Columbia’s Emerging Economy Task Force.


We will be happy to send the MSM reporter to your inbox every Thursday. Please enter below details to confirm your subscription.

Get in Touch

Get In Touch

Get In Touch

This website uses cookies to assist to personalize content, analyze our traffic, and to assist with our promotional and marketing campaigns. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising, and analytics team who may combine it with other information that you’ve provided to them or that they’ve collected from your use of their services. For more information about your cookies and how to change your settings, refer to our Privacy Policy.​



We will be happy to send the MSM reporter to your inbox every Thursday. Please enter below details to confirm your subscription.

Yes, I would like to receive the Top 12 trending news from the international education industry.