Studying abroad can lead to significant increases in critical 21st century workplace skills, according to a new survey from IIE.

IIE’s study, Gaining an Employment Edge: The Impact of Study Abroad on 21st Century Skills & Career Prospects, investigates the connection between study abroad programs and the development of skills that contribute to employment and career development in today’s workforce.

The survey looked at what specific features of study abroad programs contribute to career success, in order to help educators better develop programs that prepare students for the global workforce.

IIE developed a specific list of 15 soft and hard skills drawn from those identified as most-wanted by 21st century employers, and then explored their link to studying abroad.

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Based on the survey responses from more than 4,500 U.S. college and university alumni at various stages of their careers, as well as in-depth interviews, the report offers evidence that studying abroad helps students develop and grow certain skills that translate to positive employment gains.

(Next page: 7 findings about studying abroad)


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