Who they are:
  • Graduates in transition from university to labour markets with recognised career goals and some steps undertaken
  • Transitions are gradual and within the field of their subjects studied in a home country
  • Show strong agency in career trajectories development prior to migration
  • Able to narrow down their career aims and preferences to specific areas
  • Fields within which they want to work, match education and qualifications gained in a home country and further education acquired after migration
  • Often labour market inexperienced before migration
  • Those who sampled employment, worked in jobs related to education gained at home universities
  • Predominantly graduates of English language teaching and literature courses, engineering subjects, medical and therapy studies (e.g. physiotherapy)
  • Graduates of other disciplines, including social sciences and humanities, with aim to pursue education at PhD level after migration
What they do after migration:
  • Remain in a similar field to what they studied at home universities, through undertaken additional education in a destination country
  • Search for the best value for money options including university degrees before migration in one or many countries
  • Migration for economic capital and brain training (Baláz and Williams, 2004)
  • Make the best use of currently gained knowledge and skills, whilst working on the missing links to move to their preferred areas of employment
  • Remain open to acquiring different skills, which could expand their expertise towards a broad spectrum of potential employment areas
  • Aim to remain within established broad career path

What graduates say:

“I looked at my skills, what I’m good at, experience and everything, and where could that be required, and I realised that being an interpreter would be a great solution. Because I also like driving and meeting new people, and my job requires that on a daily basis. So that’s how I found out, what my dream job is” (Grad. 10)


Baláz, V., and Williams, A. (2004), Been there, done that: International student migration and human capital transfers from the UK to Slovakia, Population, Space and Place, 10(3): 217–237

Szewczyk, A., (forthcoming, 2014) Continuation or Switching? Career patterns of Polish graduates in England, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies


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