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Good College Majors for Working Abroad

Discuss working and making a living overseas, starting a business, or studying abroad.

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Good College Majors for Working Abroad

Postby MrMan » March 2nd, 2017, 5:42 pm

Let's discuss what college majors or advanced degrees are good for working abroad.

The obvious route to working abroad is teaching. Degrees in ESL can get you an easy-to-find relatively low-paying job in many countries. Degrees that get you teacher certification might help you get a job at an international school that pays better.

In the field of education, PhD's in certain fields, like business, engineering, and technology fields might land you a job at a decent-paying Asian university. Oil rich countries in the middle east pay well. There are some universities in China that pay well. You may be able to get an almost-market salary in Kazakhstan in certain fields. M.D.'s may be able to teach in medical schools as well. I'm not to sure about the details of that. I'd imagine US JD's would have a hard time finding jobs teaching law abroad since they learn US law, though I've known JD's who've had management roles in education.

There may be some specific fields you could get into where you could get a job overseas rather easily. I'd imagine petrochemical degrees could get a job in the oil industry. Many years ago, someone in the oil industry told me they are always looking for a good mud tech. Those guys keep the oil from spurting up in the ground with the 'mud' they put in the wells.

If you can learn how to do import-export, you could set up and work overseas. I'd imagine a business degree would be good for that. But if you get a bachelors of business or an MBA, you probably won't be able to get a job overseas just for having a degree. If you had some work experience before you got an MBA that made you valuable, you might be able to get a job. I've seen a low-paying college job online for US MBAs overseas that pay about like English teacher jobs-- a waste of an expensive masters degree if you ask me.

To work abroad in some business or tech field, you have to work for an international company where you learn the ropes, become valuable to the company, and then apply for a job overseas. Outside of education, there are few degrees where you can just graduate and get a job overseas.

Business is a good degree if you want to do any kind of business overseas.

Even without a degree, if you get some special skills, you may be able to work abroad. I met an Englishman at the airport in Guanzhou once. He said he consulted for shoe factories in China. He lived in Hong Kong, officially, and kept his money there, but he had a place in Guanzhou, too if I recall correctly. Since he was just consulting, he was allowed to fly in and out on a business visit visa. And since he worked abroad, the UK did not charge him income taxes. If I understand correctly, neither Hong Kong nor China taxed his income. He had a lot of experience in shoe factories, though. I don't know what his education or training was.
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Re: Good College Majors for Working Abroad

Postby CannedHam » August 24th, 2017, 11:59 pm

Another good option is IT - lots of 100% remote positions out there (maybe you need to go into the office once or twice a year). Some software development gigs are also 100% remote.

The benefit to this is that you will be paid a US salary and will be working for a company governed by US business laws (this is huge). Downsides are potentially strange working hours.
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Re: Good College Majors for Working Abroad

Postby Contrarian Expatriate » August 25th, 2017, 12:35 am

For those of you who are not at all interested in STEM or IT fields, you should major in a foreign language, and minor in another. Both languages should be major languages that are rarely spoken by Westerners such as Russian, Mandarin, or Turkish (which is usable in Azerbaijan and the several Central Asian countries.)

Never waste your time with Spanish, French, German or the other common languages widely-spoken in America and the West because you are not distinguishing yourself as a rare commodity and will likely never beat out the legions of Westerners who speak these languages better than you.

For graduate studies, concentrate on fields that allow you to do development work, grant work, and or journalism.

Business and other skills can be learned via internships and on the job training. Language is THE primary bar to overseas employment.
Last edited by Contrarian Expatriate on August 25th, 2017, 2:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Good College Majors for Working Abroad

Postby E Irizarry R&B Singer » August 25th, 2017, 1:57 am

Contrarian Expatriate wrote:You should major in a foreign language, and minor in another. Both languages should be major languages that are rarely spoken by Westerners such as Russian, Mandarin, or Turkish (which is usable in Azerbaijan and the several Central Asian countries.)

Never waste your time with Spanish, French, German or the other common languages commonly spoken widely-spoken in America and the West because your are not distinguishing yourself as a rarity and will likely never beat out the legions of Westerners who speak it better than you.

For graduate studies, concentrate on fields that allow you to do development work, grant work, and or journalism.

Business and other skills can be learned via internships and on the job training. Language is THE primary bar to overseas employment.

You have it somewhat correct; learn a facet of Big (or Fast Data or Big Data 2.0 i.e. Data Analytics/IoT (Internet of Things [To Be At One Time or Another]) makes a lovely arsenal to your Foreign Language ideology.
Big Data has such a colossal shortage that it's not even funny yet it pays out the wahzoo. Start off with an online university based out of India (e.g. Edureka!),
then get an internship or get an entry-level job doing Hadoop (on-premise data ingestion & wrangling) and AWS or Azure HD Insight (off-premise cloud PaaS ran by Amazon, the latter by Microsoft). The Big Data industry is segueing itself from batch data processing to streaming via Tez/Hive, Kafka concurrent threading ingestor (runs 1M% times faster than RabbitMQ at 4M MESSAGES PER FCKING SECOND & Spark (both Apache foundation registered) for lightening fast data ingestion, mapping, and wrangling. That speed is needed because we are transcending upon petabytes and exabytes of data nowadays. Within a decade, zetabytes will be common in the IoT/Fast Data world.

Sorry; I got really geeked out but here's to my 'hood side, "it is....what it is." hahahahaa
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Re: Good College Majors for Working Abroad

Postby E Irizarry R&B Singer » August 25th, 2017, 2:04 am

oh and if and when one gets into Big Data, please please learn Java because it's a complete object-oriented language (it increases productivity, execution times, and avoids redundancy of its objects/data structures, etc.) and learn at least one interpretation language such as HiveQL or Python (more the latter really) and then do the rest of what I told you to do.
It's time to expatriate to evade your fate; it's time to expatriate before the barn door permanently closes on "US" sheep.
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