Understanding Employment Opportunities and Challenges Facing Lao Graduates from Chinese Universities
The purpose of this study is to explore the employment opportunities and challenges facing Lao graduates who studied abroad in China and returned home after graduation. A qualitative method was employed by utilizing semi-structured interviews with 17 Chinese-educated Lao graduates who now live in Laos. The findings revealed that although returning graduates were sought after in the local labor market, they seemed more employable in certain market segments in which China has been economically involved. Yet possessing a foreign degree alone was not sufficient to attain jobs unless it was complemented with foreign language fluency and employability skills such as communication skills and learning skills. The study also found that returning graduates tended to experience job mismatch and reverse culture shock in the process of their career development. With these findings, universities should sufficiently equip students with skills that can be effectively applied in different labor markets and contexts.
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