Many companies are eager to hire people who have studied abroad, but not many university students have studied abroad or are interested in going overseas, a survey by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) found.
MEXT conducted the online survey in June as part of the “Tobitate! (Leap for Tomorrow) Study Abroad Initiative.” The survey drew responses from 721 university students and 412 corporate recruiters.
A total of 62.1% of recruiters said they are “strongly,” “moderately” or “somewhat” willing to hire people who have studied overseas. When asked about the impact of students’ taking a leave of absence or repeating a year to study abroad affects their hiring decisions, 75.3% said it doesn’t negatively affect employment. Also, 80.4% said the experience of studying abroad is beneficial in terms of work and 84.4% said it’s better to study abroad while in university.
When university students were asked a multiple-choice question on what kind of company they want to work for, 53.4% of students who have studied overseas said “companies related to foreign countries,” 44.3% picked “companies that give employees opportunities to work overseas,” and 42.1% chose “companies where employees can use foreign languages.” On the other hand, only 14.2%, 13.3%, and 8.4% of students who have not studied abroad chose the same answers, indicating that they are not very interested in going overseas.
According to research conducted by the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO) and others, only about 3% of university students have studied overseas. A representative of the office of MEXT’s Tobitate initiative says, “Studying abroad gives students more opportunities as an increasing number of companies are boosting their overseas operations.”