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Working Abroad: 4 Career Options For Expats

Working Abroad: 4 Career Options For Expats

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Although it is hard to quantify the exact size of expats worldwide, studies and surveys indicate that the number is steadily growing. Due to the poor state of the current job market in the developed world, more people look toward working abroad as a reasonable alternative.

Related: 5 Job Search Tips For Landing A Job Abroad

For many, working in a developing country not only provides a comfortable lifestyle, but an amazing opportunity to explore another part of the world as well. If you are a recent graduate or just in between jobs, a career abroad may be something to consider. Here are some of the top career options for expats:

1. Teaching

Teaching English remains the easiest way for expats to work abroad. Although the salary is not as high as it once was, expats can live a very comfortable life teaching English. Most positions are offered from private schools and require little to no teaching experience. Depending on the school, hours can sometimes be a bit irregular and inconstant. For instance, some days you may find yourself teaching 9-4 and other days may be 2-9. It is important to do your research before accepting any of these positions.

However. if you have prior teaching experience, a degree, and a TEFL certificate you will be qualified for a teaching position at a university or public school. These positions offer a regular schedule and a much higher salary, but usually require the teacher to plan the curriculum. While it may take time to get used to the different educational system in a foreign country, teaching is well worth the experience and a great way to earn a living abroad.

2. Marketing

Expats with a marketing background will find that their experience is greatly appreciated among employers abroad, especially in Asia. As the standard of living continues to increase and more consumers enter the market, companies look for new and creative marketing strategies to reach these new customers.

Experience with Western companies and multinationals is relished among employers. Those who have experience in digital marketing have a great advantage because it has begun to gain traction with consumers abroad. Fluent English is required for these positions, making expats extremely desirable. Yet, some positions will require fluency in the local language.

3. Writing/Editing

Advertising agencies and media companies are always in the market for native English speakers. Whether it be writing copy, technical writing, or blogging companies prefer hiring those with superb English skills. Expats with degrees in creative writing, journalism, and communications are preferred for writing positions abroad. In addition, bilingual expats are great candidates for reporting careers abroad.

4. Engineering

Throughout Asia, employers are looking to hire experienced professionals with an engineering background. Software engineers are the most sought after as many companies are seeking to develop and expand their web services. Tech startups pop up every day, and are always looking for talent in computer engineering. Experience with Linux, Java, and various other operating systems is greatly desired.

Other positions that you are likely to come across include systems administrators, quality assurance engineers, and mechanical engineers. Again, these positions are great for expats because they often require excellent oral and written English communication skills. Being able to speak the local language is always an advantage, but is not usually required.

With plenty of opportunities for expats, the question many face is where to find them. Expat forums and job portals, such as Expat Workforce, are a good place to start your job search. They can help connect you with employers that are specifically looking for an expat’s talents.

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Photo Credit: Shutterstock


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Erik Episcopo Erik Episcopo is the community manager at Expat Workforce, a marketplace connecting expats and local businesses looking to hire skilled, internationally-minded professionals.