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Is it just me or is it HARD to get work out of the UK???

Is it just me or is it HARD to get work out of the UK???

Old Oct 13th 2007, 7:36 pm
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Question Is it just me or is it HARD to get work out of the UK???

I recently graduated in computing and got a 1st class. After spending 23 years here, I'm starting to find life in Britain rather dull. As a result, I've been hoping to work overseas in English speaking countries or positions. However, I've noticed it's rather hard to get a work permit in countries like Canada, US or Australia, even as a British citizen. I'd like to find work related to my profession butthe only other option for working abroad is undertaking a TEFL course and then teaching in places like Thailand or Hong Kong.

Has anyone else had much success working overseas as a fresh graduate?
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Old Oct 13th 2007, 10:17 pm
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Default Re: Is it just me or is it HARD to get work out of the UK???

What you will find is that the reality is that a dgeree is just simply not enough these days.

Every man and his dog has a degree these days (well in the UK at least, anyway). So, naturallym its value has declined over the years as most ppl with half a brain of this generation gets some kind of degree (altho my parents generation was different - both have good jobs - neither has a degree).

In terms of going overseas, I've discovered that natiive english is only a slight advantage these days. Afterall, their are Germans, russians and other europeans competing with you who all speak impeccable english - often even better than our own.

My advice to you, as a fresh graduate, would be to get some "cutting edge". Learn a new language - it offers so many more options. Even for going to english speaking countries; i.e. - if you speak spanish, you would be highly valued in large parts of the US. French language ability will score you points for emigrating to canada, and the australians are crying out for people who speak various asian languages (chinese/japanese) - this i think will give you an extra 5 or 10 points if applying for Australina permanent residency.

The native english argument is used far too often, and i think it breeds complacency here in the UK. I work for a large bank in the accoutancy department, most of the Skilled accountants here are from Aus, SA, NZ, , but there are still large numbers of french, chinese etc. Moreso, when i go over to our american offices, the foreigners there often come from non-english speaking countries. And whenever we have a major IT project to carry out, 90% of the hired project managers are indian! So it's important to realise that the rest of the world is becoming fluent in english, thus diminishing any competitive advantage you may have. I think you will definitely find this in your field (computing), where there really is nothing that beats hands-on experience.

The EU is on your doorstep, it gives you so many opportunities to go overseas without virtually any hassle. Maybe head over there, teach english for a few months whilst you get acquainted with the local language, and then get a job in your chosen field. Despite english being the linga franca, additional languages definetley are a growing asset.

To answer your question directly, graduated a few yrs ago now (2003) and was lucky enough to work o/seas in the Netherlands and then south africa, before coming back to the UK. It can be done; maybe you should have a look at some of the graduate schemes run by the large employers.

In a nutshell, what I am saying is do not bank on you "native level english" and "university degree" in making you a hot international commodity, because frankly, they are not enough.
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Old Oct 16th 2007, 7:45 pm
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Default Re: Is it just me or is it HARD to get work out of the UK???

Thanks for the feedback Checkmate!

Just wondering: did you join a graduate scheme after graduating? And was it in IT?

So far it seems that my best bet for working in the US would be to apply for the J-1 visa. However, all of the employers or schemes I've looked at either only provide unskilled work or interships which pay a pittance.

Incidentally, I do have a grasp of conversational Mandarin chinese so Australia may be a better bet.
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Old Jan 3rd 2008, 1:01 pm
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Default Re: Is it just me or is it HARD to get work out of the UK???

If you've got experience to go with the degree, it's a great asset.

If however, you're like me and are simply a fresh graduate you're in the worst possible boat. Every single job you will WANT, a local will be applying too rendering you ineligible for a work permit. Plus the length of time it will take to get the thing will no doubt likely put the employer off hiring you anyway.

It seems getting 1yr+ experience in your chosen field is absolutely essential, then the degree comes into its own.

This is my experience from Canada anyway.

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Old Jan 3rd 2008, 6:44 pm
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Default Re: Is it just me or is it HARD to get work out of the UK???

Originally Posted by newgrad View Post
I recently graduated in computing and got a 1st class. After spending 23 years here, I'm starting to find life in Britain rather dull. As a result, I've been hoping to work overseas in English speaking countries or positions. However, I've noticed it's rather hard to get a work permit in countries like Canada, US or Australia, even as a British citizen. I'd like to find work related to my profession butthe only other option for working abroad is undertaking a TEFL course and then teaching in places like Thailand or Hong Kong.

Has anyone else had much success working overseas as a fresh graduate?
TBH mate it's experience that employers are looking for, particularly in IT - and that's true across the board whether you're looking to emigrate or not. When I graduated with an IT degree in the UK it took ages to find a 'decent' job, only now I have 9 years under my belt am I reaping the benefits of a degree, which counts in my favour when up against other applicants who don't have one. One years experience wouldn't cut much ice except for junior positions, 4 - 5 years in the position you're applying for is the norm for contract (permie maybe a bit less if they see you as a long term prospect).

When I look at my life in the workplace, and what with hindsight being 20 x 20, it's obvious to me now how ill prepared 3 years of theory left me when dealing with employers who want you to deal with their current real life systems.

Believe it or not I don't mean all of that to sound negative, once you have some employment the years quickly clock themselves up and the rewards are well worth the effort - and most countries will be more than happy to welcome you...
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