By Martin Tillman
Are you just getting started on your career path out of graduate school and looking for work in the international education field? Perhaps you’ve been working your first campus job for a few years and are looking ahead to your next career move. Well, there’s good and bad news out there in the job market.
The good news is that international education professionals are exceptionally helpful to young professionals and the points of access—for networking, information, and advice—are easy to identify. There are also opportunities for employment—sometimes more diverse and in greater numbers—outside the United States. The not-so-good news is that the global economic downturn has resulted in serious budget shortfalls in many U.S. states, and many universities have been forced to freeze salaries, implement involuntary furloughs of staff, and reduce operating budgets at both public and private institutions.
To be an effective job-seeker, you need to understand current hiring trends in the field, take advantage of available means to network, gain insights into local and regional job markets, and focus on the area of specialization you’re interested in. As you’ve heard from many friends and family members, it’s about who you know and who you cultivate as a mentor.
NAFSA affords you multiple ways to advance your knowledge and develop important professional contacts. Be sure to ask others how they broke into the profession, what hurdles they had to jump over, and who was helpful.
Let us hear how you got started!
Marty Tillman has been a NAFSA member since 1977 and recent chair of the NAFSA Task Force on Career Development Resources. He has over 30 years of senior management experience in higher education institutions and nonprofit organizations. Tillman is currently the president of Global Career Compass, an international consultancy; formerly, he was associate director of Career Services at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). His consulting focuses upon the impact of education abroad on career development. An authority on global workforce issues, he is a frequent NAFSA speaker and regularly writes for the International Educator magazine.