The Price of Being International

Career Outcomes of International Master's Recipients in U.S. Labor Market

  • Xiushan Jiang College of Charleston
  • Dongbin Kim Michigan State University
Keywords: annual salary, career outcomes, international master's recipients job satisfaction, major-job match


This study sought to examine whether international master’s recipients (IMRs) who graduated from U.S. institutions have different early career outcomes in major and job match, annual earnings, and career satisfaction from their counterpart domestic master’s recipients (DMRs). By analyzing combined datasets of National Survey of Recent College Graduates, this study found that IMRs were 2 times more likely than DMRs to hold jobs that are related to their master’s degree. On the other hand, IMRs faced an 8% earnings disadvantage as compared with DMRs. There was no statistically significant difference in job satisfaction between IMRs and DMRs. The policy implications for postsecondary institutions and the U.S. were discussed.



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Author Biographies

Xiushan Jiang, College of Charleston

XIUSHAN JIANG, PhD, is the Associate Director of Analytical Research & Planning at the Office for Institutional Effectiveness and Strategic Planning at the College of Charleston. His research interests include international higher education, employment outcomes of international students and STEM education in the college setting. 

Dongbin Kim, Michigan State University

DONGBIN KIM, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Higher, Adult Learning and Education (HALE) at Michigan State University. Through her scholarly endeavors, Dr. Kim seeks to examine how mobility (and different types of mobility) interacts with issues of stratification in higher education, both in national and international settings.


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How to Cite
Jiang, X., & Kim, D. (2019). The Price of Being International. Journal of International Students, 9(3), 732-757.
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