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  • International Student Hiring Climbs for Class of 2020

    February 24, 2020 | By NACE Staff

    Trends & Predictions
    A pair of university relations recruiters interview an international student.

    TAGS: international students, trends and predictions, surveys, recruiting, spotlight

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    More than 30 percent of respondents to NACE’s Job Outlook 2020 survey plan to hire international students from the Class of 2020, signaling a continued rebound from the 2018 recruiting year.

    This year’s percentage—30.4 percent—is up from 23.4 percent in 2018, when international student hiring fell to its lowest level in recent years. Last year, 28.3 percent of employers planned to hire international students from the Class of 2019. (See Figure 1.)

    Also last year, responding employers that shared their international student hiring numbers for both U.S. and international positions reported an overall increase of 23.2 percent. This year, the respondents that provided these international student hiring numbers appear to be holding steady by planning an overall increase of just 2.6 percent.

    At least half of respondents in the computer and electronics manufacturing, miscellaneous professional services, and chemical (pharmaceutical) manufacturing sectors have plans to hire international students. (See Figure 2.)

    There is a wide range in international student hiring plans among the seven different geographic regions. Almost three-quarters of the employers located in the New England region have plans to hire international students, as opposed to just 5.9 percent of respondents in the Great Lakes with plans to do so. (See Figure 3.)

    Data for the Job Outlook 2020 survey were collected from August 1, 2019, through September 30, 2019. This year’s data collection not only surveyed 905 NACE employer members, but also 2,229 employer organizations that were nonmembers. A total of 150 surveys were returned; 115 were NACE members and the remaining 35 were nonmembers. The Job Outlook 2020 report is available free to members through MyNACE. Nonmembers can purchase the report through the NACE Store.

    Figure 1: International Student Hiring Plans, 2014-20

    Survey Year Percentage of Respondents
    2020 30.4%
    2019 28.3%
    2018 23.4%
    2017 27.5%
    2016 32.8%
    2015 34.2%
    2014 33.8%
    Source: Job Outlook 2020, National Association of Colleges and Employers

    Figure 2: International Student Hiring Plans, by Industry

    Industry Percentage of Respondents
    Computer & Electronics Mfg. 52.9%
    Misc. Prof. Services 50.0%
    Chemical (Pharmaceutical) Mfg. 50.0%
    Finance, Insurance, & Real Estate 40.0%
    Engineering Services 40.0%
    Wholesale Trade 33.3%
    Information 33.3%
    Misc. Mfg. 28.0%
    Government 20.0%
    Motor Vehicle Mfg. 20.0%
    Construction 16.7%
    Management Consulting 14.3%
    Retail Trade 8.3%
    Source: Job Outlook 2020, National Association of Colleges and Employers

    Figure 3: International Student Hiring Plans, by Region

    Region Percentage of Respondents
    New England 73.3%
    Southwest 43.8%
    Mideast 34.6%
    Rocky Mountain/Far West 33.3%
    Southeast 26.3%
    Plains 25.0%
    Great Lakes 5.9%
    Source: Job Outlook 2020, National Association of Colleges and Employers