Value of your UK degree in home country
Internships, Official Updates
July 10, 2020
A lot of international students returning to their home country fear that they’ll feel a disconnect from the professional set-up back home. After all, they’ve spent a majority of their adult life in the UK – they are familiar with the quirks of the UK more than their home country.
It’s a catch-22 situation. On one hand, the UK degree is a global degree that adds to your credentials. On the other hand, you’re likely to feel detached from the workplace and professional etiquette back home, if all your work experience and higher education so far has been UK-based.
The challenge of graduate employability of international students is an understated, yet complicated one. Let's try and break down what your UK degree means for your employability prospects back home.
There are landslide benefits
For one, any international degree comes with incomparable global exposure. To add to that, the education infrastructure and methodology in the UK universities sets it apart: you develop critical thinking skills, network with people from across the world, indulge in quality research and take in a diverse culture, all of which collectively makes you a better professional candidate and a more empathetic individual.
Learn as you earn
When you are studying in the UK, you are also allowed to work in a part-time job, internship or placement. These experiences help you develop and hone valuable skills, networking opportunities and add to the “international exposure” quotient of your degree.
Coming back home and declaring that you’ve studied and worked in the UK shoots up your eligibility for prospective jobs.
Hear from the alumna: Been there, done that
We asked Deeksha Teri, sub-editor at WION News, about her experience of returning to India with a Masters degree in Journalism from University of Lincoln. Upon returning to India, she started working with The Hindu, a national daily as a sub-editor. While there is a disparity in accreditation of a one-year MA back home in India, she gives credit where credit’s due
In India, a Masters degree has to be 2-year long to be valid. Teri mentions it is a rather superficial validity as what matters in the end is the content of the degree and the skills you acquire, “My MA Journalism does add credibility to my CV and earns me some brownie points. I think it is also because I am trained for print, digital and broadcast (TV and radio) journalism, which is not usually the case in India apparently.”
One part that does change, however, is the recruitment and hiring process of the home country. That could take a little adjustment if you’re used to the UK system of online tests, assessment centers and the like.
Teri shares, “I worked with a media house in the UK too, and there's a huge difference in the interview process. The process in the UK was mainly a personal interview where the head sat with me, asked me few questions about why do I want to work, what am I studying and why. He then asked for my ideas that I would like to work upon and my opinion about their content. He even had a nice chat about where I come from, and tried to understand Indian media culture.
However, in India they gave me a usual grammar and copy-editing test. The personal interviews generally consist of the typical 'tell us about yourself” questions and sometimes a medical test. The difference between these two processes is that in the UK I can actually be hired on the basis of my interaction, rather than the paperwork. (However, the UK does have a lot of employers who say a straight no when they realise I need to be sponsored).”
Thus, in the end, the key is timing: if you start preparing for your move back home in advance, you can pre-empt a plethora of professional adaptations and adjustments. Then, it wouldn't be as hard when you're entering an Indian office for the first time.
Make use of virtual networking opportunities and leverage your UK degree to make an impression.