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International students struggle to land jobs after school

Four years ago, Yuan Yue came to Ohio State from Qingdao, China, to study accounting and hoped her academic pursuit would lead to a stable job in the United States after graduation.
However, she has found that getting a job might be harder than she believed.
From fall 2009 to fall 2012, OSU’s international students population has increased almost 30 percent, to a record high of more than 6,000 from more than 4,200 students on all campuses, while the overall students’ population stayed roughly the same, according to data from the Office of Enrollment Services.
Yue is planning to go to graduate school because her job search didn’t go as planned.
“I am going to graduate school because I cannot find a job here at the states,” Yue said.
Yue is not alone. Despite the significant increase of international students at OSU, many international students aren’t staying in the U.S. Some of them are going to graduate school and others are going back to their home country after failed efforts in job hunting.
According to a post-graduate survey from the Fisher College of Business targeting international students, only 14 out of 204 international graduated students who reported in the period of 2011-2012 are employed in the U.S., and 79 of them were going to graduate school.
One of the obstacles international students face in finding a job is obtaining a visa. The Optional Practical Training allows international students to work in the U.S. for 12 months after graduation, within which period the students will have to get a job offer to apply for H-1B visa to legally stay at the United States. H-1B visa is renewable up to a maximum six years .
However, since the H-1B visa is not applicable to every company and requires sponsorship, not a lot of companies will consider international students in their hiring process.
In Fisher’s Fall Career Fair, only 19 out of more than 130 companies agreed to “consider international students,” which shut down the first door to employment for undergraduate international students, who represent more than 25 percent of Fisher’s population.
“I went to Fisher’s career fair both last year and the year before, and I got nothing back,” said Rachel Yue, a fourth-year student in accounting from Malaysia. “So I guess right now I am just going to take the (free) giveaways at the career fair next time I go.”
Racahel Yue said she will go back to Malaysia if she does not find a job opportunity.
However, as Magaret Bogenschutz, senior director of Undergraduate Career Management and Recruitment in Fisher College of Business, pointed out, hiring international students who have sponsorships can be an unnecessaryburden for companies if they find domestic equivalents.
“Because there are so many, hundreds of thousands of students graduating with undergraduate degrees in business,” Bogenschutz said, “they can legally refuse to interview international students.”
International students with more specialized degrees will have a better chance of getting a job, said Rachel Kaschner, a student services manager at Engineering Career Services, because a company might not be able to find a permanent resident to do the job.
Bogenschutz said the biggest challenge for international students trying to target a job in the U.S. is communication and networking skills.
“I feel that there is an obvious language barrier for me,” said Jie Xiao, a fourth-year in accounting and economics who plans to go to graduate school. “Although there are a few excellent international Chinese students who can communicate freely, most of the students have a clear distance from the native speakers, which hurts us in interviews.”
For some employeers, that canbe a dealbreaker.
“If you want a job in the United Sates, you have to perfect your communication skills,” said Bogenschutz.

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