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Survey on impact of study-abroad experience on annual income

  • 2015-12-17 15:00:00
  • , Nikkei
  • Translation

(Nikkei: December 17, 2015 – p. 42)


 A survey conducted by a group led by Masahiro Yokota (specialization: education), dean of Meiji University’s School of Global Japanese Studies, and others found that Japanese who have earned a degree from a university overseas have a higher annual salary after entering the workforce than Japanese who graduate from a Japanese university and have no study abroad experience: The gap in annual salary is 700,000 yen for men and 1,090,000 yen for women on average. The survey also showed that a higher percentage of those who studied abroad thought they were more flexible and patient [on account of their study experience].


 Dean Yokota said, “We found that studying abroad not only has the effect of developing language skills but also the effect of fostering skills desired in working adults.”


 The nationwide survey of men and women in their 20s through 50s was conducted from January through September 2015. The survey asked 4,489 people who had studied abroad at an undergraduate or graduate program or language school and 1,298 who had graduated from an undergraduate or graduate program in Japan and had no study-abroad experience what their current yearly income was as well as what skills they thought they had gained from studying abroad and their student days. Adjustments were made for age and gender of the group with study-abroad experience and the group without such experience in order to render comparison meaningful.


 Men who had earned a bachelor’s degree from a university overseas (218 men) had a current annual income of 6,450,000 yen on average while those who had graduated from a Japanese university and had no study-abroad experience (334 men) made 5,750,000 yen a year. Male university graduates with study-abroad experience thus made 700,000 yen more on average. The annual income gap for women was 1,090,000 yen, with women who had earned a bachelor’s degree overseas (198 women) making 4,390,000 yen a year and graduates of Japanese universities (376 women) earning 3,300,000 yen a year.


 It could be inferred from the survey that experiencing foreign cultures and learning while studying abroad bring about changes in personal drive and ways of thinking as well. Respondents were asked what skills they thought they had developing during their student days. Taking the entire group and dividing it into people with study-abroad experience and those without, 85.8% of those with study-abroad experience said they felt they had developed “flexibility” and 79% said “patience.” The percentages were 57.3% and 55.9%, respectively, among those who had not studied abroad.

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