Global graduates for a shrinking world

globeIt’s pretty obvious that the job market for graduates is becoming increasingly global, driven by three major factors. One is the growth of international businesses across frontiers, the second is the perceived need for graduates in recession-suffering countries to leave their country of birth in pursuit of opportunities elsewhere, and the third is the fact that there is a demand from global businesses to develop a truly multinational and multicultural workforce.

This emerging global graduate job market has thrown up a set of ‘global competences’ that people need to develop in order to thrive in demanding international businesses far from home. These competences have been identified in a new report by the Council of Industry and Higher Education (CIHE) and the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) as:

  • the ability to work collaboratively with teams from different backgrounds and countries
  • excellent communication skills
  • a high degree of drive and resilience
  • the ability to embrace multiple perspectives and challenge thinking
  • multi-cultural learning agility and
  • an ability to form professional, global networks.

Interestingly, the need to speak several languages, though considered a good thing (obviously), is near the bottom of the list. This is probably to do with the convenient fact that English is the language of international business (thank God). The report also identifies the need for aspiring global graduates to be knowledgeable and interested in world affairs.

This is a UK report, based on surveys with international organisations, and concludes that too few UK nationals are gaining the kind of international experience and developing the right competences that could give them a head start in the new global jobs market. So this is conceivably an opportunity for Irish graduates to seize such opportunities, as I think it’s fair to say that we’re talking here of a body of people who have a more international outlook than their counterparts in the UK and are more geographically flexible. The Irish diaspora is already global but this report identifies an increasing need for talented recent graduates to play their part in building modern international businesses.

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