IT works for international grads

As employers cry out for skilled workers an on the ground source is under-utilised

The promise of post study work rights is a big part of the sell to international students, implying opportunities to lay career foundations.

It is fulfilled for IT grads but not so much for those in bized and engineering.

Ly Tran (Deakin U) and colleagues* combined qualitative and survey research to identify the post-study work experience of international grads from Aus institutions.

They found many employers  prefer to hire people with permanent residency, leaving graduates on PSWR visas to languish in jobs below their skills level – but not IT graduates who have advantages that mean more of them get jobs and get them more quickly in their field than engineering and business grads.

This is due, in part to market demand and transferable tech skills that means IT grads don’t need on the job training. Plus IT is a cosmopolitan industry with a globalised and welcoming workforce, interested in people who can get a job done, rather than their residency status or local work experience.

The contrast between the IT experience of PSWR and that of business and engineering grads is a problem for education providers. Professor Tran and the other authors warn, “the employment outcomes of international graduates are indicative of their capacity to deliver on graduate employability promise and vital to their competitiveness in the global education market,” they write.

* Ly Thi Tran, Huyen Bui, Mark Rahimi (all Deakin U) and George Tan (Charles Darwin U),