+1 (978) 744-8828 Email Us  

Recruiting Intelligence

Career Success for US-Educated International Students?


Career opportunity is the primary motivating factor for international students. All our research into the international student journey says so. We’ve known this for a long time. If you can demonstrate that your degrees pave a beaten path to positive career outcomes, then you’ve got your prospect’s ear. Not many institutions can back up their promises with data...until now. 

Institutions seem to have had a hard time making the case for bottom line ROI. Sure, there’s the usual “x% employed within 6 months” data every institution flaunts, but what does that really tell a student who’s halfway around the world? Not a whole lot. We’re not saying to nix that stat – definitely keep it – but it’s hardly concrete proof for your prospective students. 

The fact is most institutions simply don’t have the student data on the whole job search process to offer much more. Especially for international students graduating from your specific institution. 

Nor do most institutions have the bandwidth to think it through for the international cohort. But data does exist that can help you uncover a truer and fuller picture of career potential for your international students. It’s a matter of knowing where to look, how to look, how to clean and crunch the data, and then interpret that data appropriately.  

Enter Intead’s analytics team and our colleagues at F1 Hire! On offer to you for download: our first Connecting Dots study, How International Students are Finding US Jobs: A Look at the Students, Degrees, and Institutions Producing Success

Our next opportunities to meet! 

GMAC Annual Conference, New Orleans, June 19 – 21, 2024. Ben will be presenting on how global elections are influencing student mobility. More than just the US presidential election has the power to upend what students will choose to do next.  

EducationUSA, Washington, D.C., July 30-August 1. Ben and Viginia Commonwealth University SIO Jill Blondin will share insights on Navigating Budget Challenges in International Recruitment: Practical Strategies for Every Phase.  

Be in touch! We’ll buy the coffee. 

Our newest dataset focuses on practical next steps for international graduates. The ROI insight they’re really after. And for institutions, our approach to analyzing US Department of Labor data can help your marketing recruitment team stand out at any student fair anywhere in the world. Wanna see how? Read on to download our report... 

Read More

Groundbreaking Data: International Student Employment After Graduation


The NAFSA room was sold out; every seat taken.  

That morning we really weren’t sure what to expect with our session being held in the very furthest room on the 3rd floor of the New Orleans Convention Center. And that convention center is one of the largest we’ve ever seen. Like, you need an Uber to get from one end to the other. 

We could not have been more thrilled with the turn out. What everyone came for: new data, never before collected, on what international students are doing after they earn a US degree. 

What’s been missing from our community’s conversation on the value of US degrees for international students is real ROI. Sure, we talk about ROI: “94% of our students are employed or pursuing advanced degrees 6 months from graduation.” But we’ve never quantified actual ROI...until now.  

Today we’re sharing a preview of new research on the career progress of international students who graduated from US institutions. (The full report will publish later this summer. Be among the first to receive this and 2 other groundbreaking reports by pre-registering here. You’ll also get our NAFSA 2024 session slides.)  

This NAFSA research report will be the first of what will become an even deeper analysis based on more research between now and 2025. We want to truly understand what a US degree produces for international students. Is it worth their investment? Is it worth ours? This is data we’ve been wanting to mine for years.   

Our next opportunities to meet! 

GMAC Annual Conference, New Orleans, June 19 – 21, 2024. Ben will be presenting on how global elections are influencing student mobility. More than just the US presidential election has the power to upend what students will choose to do next.  

EducationUSA, Washington, D.C., July 30-August 1. Ben and Viginia Commonwealth University SIO Jill Blondin will share insights on Navigating Budget Challenges in International Recruitment: Practical Strategies for Every Phase.  

Be in touch! We’ll buy the coffee. 

I was extremely honored to have presented our latest research at NAFSA last week alongside Dr. Joanna Regulska, vice provost and dean of global affairs at UC Davis. UC Davis is one of the 12 innovative and forward-thinking institutions participating in this groundbreaking study. 

Our research involved a 22-question survey sent to international students who graduated from our 12 university partners between 2019 and 2023 (see below for the full list). With a 5.3% response rate, 1,797 graduates from 131 countries answered our survey questions. Of these, 1,323 still reside in the US, 474 live elsewhere. 

What we learned will have a direct impact on international student recruitment, as well as offer perspective on US immigration policy. Data informs how we make sense of the world and move forward as a community and a society. The data collected encourages us to understand the value of CPT/OPT to our international students and the US.  

Laid bare: the real outcomes and the positive impact international student graduates are having on the US economy.  

For those of you interested in taking part in our next survey, be in touch at info@intead.com. So many of our higher ed colleagues at the conference raised their hands to evaluate participating in the next research phase of this project. Be a part of that! 

Below we share key takeaways from our research and provide you quick access to the slides from our NAFSA presentation. Read on... 


Read More

KYN 2024: Will the US Election Shape International Student Decisions


Greetings from New Orleans!  

NAFSA 2024 is well underway, and we are here for it. Literally. There are a ton of Intead team members in the Big Easy this year and we have a lot to talk about, not to mention all that we have to learn. Are you here, too? Let us know (info@intead.com). We’d love to connect! 

If you’ve been following our posts, then you already know we’ve been waist deep in data for months. The result of which is three different reports that we think will help shape the way you approach international student recruitment. Actionable insights delivered. 

One of our new outputs is a continuation of our popular Know Your Neighborhood (KYN) series. This time, a global survey done in conjunction with the global study choice platform Studyportals. 

Let’s meet in New Orleans @ NAFSA 2024! 

Join one of Intead’s two presentations: 

  • ChatGPT and AI: What are the real opportunities for enrollment management? 
    TODAY (Wed 5/29/2024) @ 1 p.m. NOCC Room 391
    Featuring David L. Di Maria, Senior International Officer & Associate Vice Provost for International Education at UMBC, and Iliana Joaquin, Senior Digital Marketing Manager at Intead 
  • Groundbreaking Data: International Student Employment After Graduation
    Thurs., May 30, 2024 @ 11:30 a.m. NOCC Room 398-399
    Featuring Dr. Joanna Regulska, Vice Provost and Dean – Global Affairs, UC Davis and NAFSA Board Member with Ben Waxman, Intead CEO 

Our newest KYN report is our first post-pandemic addition to the series. In it you will find an analysis of the influencing factors and desires of international education-seekers when choosing where and what to study. And this includes the influence of politics and political leadership on their decisions – a question mark for many of us as we move through this long (and painful?) US presidential election season. Does this matter to international students? You betchya! 

The analysis is a thought-provoking comparison to our oft cited 2016 Know Your Neighborhood survey (Intead Plus members can access the full series here), which was conducted with FPP EDU media on the precipice of and in the wake of the 2016 US presidential election when Mr. Donald Trump was a first time Republican Presidential Nominee. Our report lays bare the undeniable shifts in the priorities of international education-seekers in the time since, including their current perspective on choosing to study in the US based on the winner of the 2024 US presidential election (Mr. Donald Trump versus Mr. Joe Biden).  

Were our findings surprising? You be the judge: 

  • 30% of the international student respondents are more likely to want to study in the US if Mr. Trump wins, compared to just 14% who said so in the lead up to the 2016 election. 
  • 28% are less likely to want to study in the US if Mr. Trump wins, compared to 54% who said so in 2016. 
  • 42% said it didn’t make a difference, compared to 32% in 2016. 

Interesting. And we haven’t even gotten to the qualitative insights that really illuminate international student sentiment. We will have that ready for you soon. 

Until then we are offering our blog readers key findings from the Know Your Neighborhood 2024 survey via a downloadable infographic that will give you a lot to think about. It will certainly give you something to talk about. In fact, we can’t think of a better conversation starter for those mingling about at NAFSA this week. Give it a try! Read on… 

Read More

How International Students are Finding US Jobs


No one on the Intead team has participated in an Iron Man competition, but the adrenaline levels we are experiencing make me wonder if preparing three different, compelling, in-depth reports in time for NAFSA next week compares. I'm confirming that no one from our team will be running, biking, or swimming to New Orleans for NAFSA, but we have been running the analytics on some really novel data all related to different aspects of the international student journey. We’re so close to the finish line! 

The work has been exciting, sometimes difficult, and the data is beyond beaten up at this point. The payoff will be so rewarding. We really can’t wait to share all we’ve learned.

Today, we are going to let a few whiskers of one of our cats out of the bag. 

Let’s meet in New Orleans @ NAFSA 2024! 

Join one of Intead’s two NAFSA presentations: 

We’ll be presenting insights in our two valuable Nafsa sessions: 

  • ChatGPT and AI: What are the real opportunities for enrollment management? 
    Wed., May 29 @ 1 p.m. in NOCC, Room 391
    Featuring Dr. David L. Di Maria, SIO & Associate Vice Provost for International Education at UMBC with Iliana Joaquin, Director, Digital Marketing at Intead  
  • Groundbreaking Data: International Student Employment After Graduation
    Thurs., May 30 @ 11:30 a.m. in NOCC, Room 398-399
    Featuring Dr. Joanna Regulska, Vice Provost and Dean - Global Affairs, UC Davis and Nafsa Board Member with Ben Waxman, CEO at Intead 

Be the first to know!  Pre-register to receive Intead’s 2024 proprietary reports as soon as we publish them. 

We are all seeking to understand the global landscape for international students. Our latest research takes a hard look at the US career options and outcomes – key drivers of international student decision-making. Career outcomes are, after all, a central metric for many international students. Our take: not understanding how your institution plays into the US international employment scene puts you at a recruitment disadvantage. 

So, we partnered with our colleagues at F1 Hire to examine both public and proprietary data sets.  

If you’re not familiar with F1 Hire, its web extension, designed for international students in the US, has become the must-have tool for OPT/CPT/H-1B job seekers. Together we analyzed the US Permanent Labor Certification Program (PERM) and H-1B visa application data tracked by the US Department of Labor between 2018-2023. We will be sharing insights into the career pathway options for international students who entered the US workforce upon completing their degrees at US higher ed institutions as well as those who earned their degrees abroad. We reviewed this data against IIE Open Doors stats and proprietary data owned by F1 Hire. 

What we learned was fascinating.  

By drilling into this employment data, we see many ways institutions can use this information as a recruitment tool to demonstrate their success in helping international students find employment.  

An example: Our analysis of F1 Hire’s collection of 1.5 million job opportunities reveals significant disparities in H-1B opportunities relative to the number of international students by state. 

Here’s a sneak peek that surprised us: We found 6.4 H-1B opportunities in New Mexico per international student studying in state compared to just .34 H-1B opportunities in New York per in-state international student. Hello, New Mexico as a student destination! We simply didn't see that coming.

Our full report, which will be available soon, provides keen perspective on: 

  • International student earning potential 
  • Geographic insights (countries and regions) 
  • Industry insights 
  • India-specific insights 
  • Job search insights 

And of course, we offer our take on what this all means for your international student recruitment efforts. 

Read on to register and be among the first to receive our full report. Below, we also share key takeaways from our research… 

Read More

NACAC 2023 Reflections

Most inspiring feature of NACAC ‘23: Angel Perez, NACAC CEO, interviewing Maryland Governor Wes Moore and US Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona in the opening Plenary for 7,000+ attendees. Representation matters.  

This conversation, in the way it was introduced by a power team of NACAC leaders and the dialogue that followed, demonstrates so very much about what we can do to move forward in the face of strong opposition. Bring our unrelenting energy and talent, grounded in the forthright presentation of ideas and ideals. Meet the challenge, whatever it may be, with unwavering, appreciative inquiry. Communicate the vision in ways everyone can understand. 

The conference that followed with all the sessions, networking, and the many interactions showed that NACAC has still got it. And the Baltimore Convention Center people flow worked better than many other large venues we’ve been to. Below we offer additional 2023 Enrollment Trend Observations and the slides from our presentation on the current state of the international enrollment. The data we share offers you an outstanding opportunity to benchmark your own institution against nearly 200 others. 

Opportunities to meet in person:

The Intead team is gearing up for some amazing presentations and we hope you can join us. 

  • CIEE 76th Annual Conference in Paris, Nov 8-10, 2023 
  • PIE News Live in Boston, Nov 13-15, 2023 
  • AIRC Annual Conference – we’ll be offering our full day digital marketing workshop here in Phoenix, Dec 6-9, 2023 
  • ICEF North America Workshop in Miami, Dec 10-13, 2023 

Let us know if you’ll come share a cup of coffee and a conversation about all things global and digital (info@intead.com

Intead’s presentation at NACAC 2023 with Robert Summers from Middle Tennessee State University and Jennifer Wright from AIRC was, of course, in the furthest most possible session room, and the A/C in the Convention Center seemed to get stronger and stronger the further you got from the entrance. So, we cheered when we saw 70+ attendees actually show up on the distant shores of room 348 and suffer through our data display in near arctic conditions. We thank you all! 

I exaggerate, of course. But it was pretty darn cold. And the data we presented wasn’t exactly warm and fuzzy. It is here and available for download in the link at the end of this blog post. Read on… 

Read More

Recruiting Intel Digest: The Most Useful Stuff from Q2 2023

Your summer intake is taking shape and your dreams of a solid fall enrollment are far less murky. At this point, the numbers are fabulous? Frustrating? Fictitious? Let’s go with that first one.

Data-informed actions, whether the data is good or bad, will always help you improve. Our team recently attended three incredible conferences—the AGB, ACE, and NAFSA—and let us tell you, they were like rocket fuel! We soaked it all up and shared the take aways with you. [Find our 2023 Conference Take Aways Here: AIEA, AGB, NAFSA].

Did you catch a glimpse of the perspectives we shared? With so much going on, many of our faithful readers missed a few important ideas here and there. From the fight over the non-traditional student to the data buffet problem, we left no stone unturned.

Not to worry. Scroll down and check out all the news from the previous quarter.

Oh, and one more thing before we dive in—if you are not there already, follow us on LinkedIn. You’ll see our insights as they break from day to day.

Read on.

Read More

When Traditional Markets Weaken, Look to Asia Part 2

Emerging markets are the talk of the town in the world of international student recruitment. Diversifying enrollment takes many forms. Looking beyond the traditional global student sources has become a valuable exercise.

Last week we took a look at South Korea, Vietnam, Taiwan, and Japan (part 1). This week we turn to Nepal, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

We are looking at the 3 key indicators that act as a first level screening to see if they point toward student sources worth deeper evaluation: a rising youth population, rising incomes, and employment opportunities for returning students.

Heading To NAFSA 2023: Our presentation with SIO Paulo Zagalo-Melo (Western Michigan University) and Reporter Karin Fischer (Chronicle of Higher Ed) will be on Wed. May 31 at 9:30am. A reality check with the data that informs our student recruitment decisions. Hope you'll join us. Be in touch to meet with us during Nafsa: info@intead.com.

While the countries we are reviewing below will never match the overall outbound student volume of China or India, most institutions are not seeking thousands or even hundreds from a single source. Most universities would do well to gain 10, 20, 50 new students a year from a single new source country. With the right recruitment initiatives, each of these countries could produce these kinds of enrollment results. It requires a multi-year commitment, but you knew that.

The benefits of these diversification efforts:

  • You aren’t relying on the top one or two markets.
  • You are building a vibrant, diverse student experience at your institution.
  • You are recruiting from countries that can most benefit from the programs and experience your institution offers.

And, as you also may know, the markets we cover in this post do come with a bit of risk. Their economies are strong enough, but the cost of international education can be out of reach for many of their families. We know international students are highly motivated to find steady work – so career connections are going to be as important as your academic chops. With any new market entry (Intead advice on that here), there are important analyses that must be done to confirm the opportunities outweigh the risks.

We’d welcome a larger conversation about how these Asian countries may or may not fit into your overall international student recruitment strategy.

Read on for a helpful overview and our usual helpful  insights about these markets to support your deeper evaluation.

Read More

Recruiting Intel Digest: The Most Useful Stuff from Q1 2023

That feeling when you recognize your passport stamps are indicators of future success – for you, and your future international students.

With all that 2023 travel and recruitment planning (so great to be back at it!), you may have missed some of our student recruitment analysis from Q1.

We’ll be in DC at the ACE annual conference in just a couple weeks and then we are planning some great things for NAFSA at the end of May. Can we connect with you at one of these events? Let us know.

We’ve summarized Q1 2023 right here to keep you up to speed. And we were heavy on the highly valuable downloadable resources this quarter. Go ahead, click where the insights grab you.

Read on...

Read More

Reflecting on #AIEA2023: Promises Being Made and TBU Data

A great gathering in DC as nearly 800 attended this year’s AIEA conference. The conversations were varied and interesting, as always. Kudos to Darla Deardoff, David Fleshler, and their team for pulling off a valuable event.

We are looking ahead at our next chance to chat about internationalization with .Edu trustees and presidents in San Diego at the AGB conference in April. Honored to be presenting alongside Brad Farnsworth from Fox Hollow Advisory (former ACE VP) and Dr. Gretchen Bataille from GMB Consulting (former president of the U of North Texas among other amazing higher ed roles). We will be talking all about insights university leaders need to guide internationalization efforts. Reach out if you or others from your team will be there.

Reflecting on this past week with our AIEA colleagues, my thoughts turn to internationalization and the many factors that go into its student recruitment process – the admissions, the student support/success efforts, the development of global partnerships. So many factors to manage. We know this.

Underlying it all is the question of staffing structure and the challenge of retaining current staff and attracting new to keep the process moving (better yet, optimized). Switching gears, did we mention credential evaluation and oh, study abroad programs? Right, so many aspects.

With all of this yanking on us, distracting us as each area of our jobs calls us to focus, there really is only one approach to multi-faceted work like this: be thorough and work hard. There is no magic solution, despite what so many vendors seem to say.

Let’s get into it and review the promises being made in our field and some actions you and your team can take to improve your Gen Z enrollment strategy. What data are you looking at? And how much of it is True But Useless (TBU)? With thanks to our Chief of Strategy Patricia Tozzifor bringing this phrase to the fore. Her perpetual questioning keeps us focused on this: what can you truly act on?

Read on for insights prompted by the 2023 AIEA gathering:

Read More

Recruiting Intel Digest: The Most Useful Stuff from Q4 2022

Coming in hot off a truly inspiring in-person workshop with peers and industry leaders yesterday. So many wanted to come but for the timing (or internal approvals). Not to worry. We’ll catch you up in the new year. But the word is our industry is feeling optimistic. Even the new Open Doors data supports our enthusiasm.

Should this energy and associated momentum have kept you from diving into all our posts of late, we totally get it. No hard feelings. That’s why we’re putting all the top news from this fast-moving quarter together for you in one easy-access spot.

But first, if you’ll be at ICEF this week,be in touch. We’d love to connect.

Please note: Our Recruiting Intelligence Blog will be on holiday hiatus for the next 2 weeks. See you in 2023 with some great slide decks for you to download and a surprise announcement to help you achieve more.

Now, read on for best stuff (student lead platforms, 5-year data trends, LATAM stats, and more) from Q4…

Read More