The 17 Degree Types for Taking Your Career Abroad

Estimated reading time: 10 mins

If you have aspirations to eventually move to another country, you might be wondering what kind of career options can help you achieve that goal in the near future. There are lots of jobs that will pay you to travel and there are others that are in high demand everywhere, so you never have to worry about being unemployed regardless of where you wind up living.

Either way, whether you opt for a paid travel job or an in-demand job, both are suitable for any professional who aims to take their career abroad. With that said, here’s a list of the top 17 educational courses that can help you remove the geographical boundaries from your career:

1. TESOL Degree

If you have a decent grasp on the English language, you can usually find a job in another country specializing in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL). You might not even need a degree to start on this career path, depending on the position you’re applying for and the level of qualification they require. However, if you want to have your pick of English teaching jobs in developed nations, you may want to enroll in a TESOL Master’s program online to strengthen your credentials. This would ensure that you’ll be able to find a job teaching English to people who speak other languages almost anywhere you go.

2. Nursing Degree

The world is facing an ongoing shortage of nurses that is only expected to get worse, which is great for anyone who happens to have a nursing degree because it means they can move anywhere they want and remain highly employable. You could also become a travel nurse and get paid to go on extended visits of other countries while still earning a living. Travel nursing jobs come with all sorts of perks like paid airfare and hospitality, so it’s one of the best ways to travel the world in a cost-effective manner. You could be a nurse for a few months in one country and then move to another – there’s nothing stopping you from relocating because there are hospitals and clinics everywhere that need nurses.

3. Hospitality Management Degree

There are hotels and other hospitality venues in every country and it’s widely known that the industry is relatively short-staffed when you consider the rate of population and tourism growth. Many hotels will hire someone without a degree as long as they have some form of business management experience, so if you actually take the initiative to earn a degree in hospitality management, you’ll be a prime candidate. Plus, many of these jobs will include room and boarding, so that’s one living expensive that could be covered automatically.

4. Childcare Degree

Childcare is one of those evergreen, ever-growing industries that will always need new professionals. Obviously, new children are being born everywhere at the rate of about 250 babies per minute worldwide, so your services as a childcare provider will always be in high demand. Most employees in the childcare industry don’t even have any certifications or educational credentials, so by going the extra mile to earn your childcare degree, you’ll be able to confidently apply for a job and be considered a top job candidate almost anywhere.

5. Agricultural Degree

If you haven’t heard about the global food shortage that is supposed to be creating farming challenges within the next couple decades, you haven’t been paying attention to climate change concerns. Simply put, the world needs more farmers and agricultural scientists who can step up to the plate and help meet the continually increasing global demand for sustenance and sustainable solutions. Farms are hiring everywhere, so having a degree in this field will make you employable everywhere. There are also many degree types and specializations to choose from in this sector, ranging from botany and horticulture to livestock biometrics and agricultural research.

6. Business Administration Degree

There are about 200 million registered companies in the world and every last one of them needs someone to help manage their work load. Professionals with a business administration degree can reliably find a job in most countries on Earth simply because it is relatively rare to hold this degree in comparison to the overall population. In a typical scenario, a hiring manager might only see 1 out of every 5 to 10 applicants who are applying for a managerial position with a degree in hand. Putting yourself in that privileged minority gives you the ability to live wherever you want and still get a high-paying job as a supervisor, manager, or administrator.

7. Communications Degree

Getting a communications degree is a great way to keep yourself eligible for one of the thousands of new jobs that pop up in this industry on a daily basis. If you’ve ever skimmed through classified job listings or browse job search sites, you’ve probably seen ads looking for cable and telephone installers or sales specialists. As the population continues to grow, there’s going to be an ongoing need for the installation, maintenance, and sale of communication infrastructure and equipment. Thus, regardless of which country you choose to move to, there will probably be a job waiting for you if you have a communications degree.

8. Diplomacy or Foreign Affairs Degree

As a diplomat or foreign affairs specialist, you’ll be stationed abroad in a consulate or embassy, so this is another job that comes with plenty of benefits including paid hospitality and travel. If you’re interested in politics enough to become an expert in foreign policy, this could be a fairly lucrative career with salaries ranging from $60,000-$100,000. Be prepared for a long and challenging educational path, but in exchange you’ll be rewarded with a prestigious job that pays well and gives you the opportunity to live abroad.

9. Photojournalism Degree

While it’s becoming increasingly difficult to earn a living as an independent photographer due to the ubiquitous presence of smartphones with high-end cameras built-in, there is still a growing need for qualified photojournalists. Photojournalism is a specific branch of photography that involves documenting important events in picture or video form. News and media agencies everywhere need credentialed professionals to go to specific locations and take pictures of important events or locations. You could couple this with a general degree in photography to widen your job search and get more out of your skill set.

10. Culinary Degree

There are more than 15 million restaurants in the world and all of them need qualified chefs to cook their food. You can find a kitchen staff job just about anywhere, even without a degree, so having a credential that proves you’re a culinary professional will go a long way in ensuring that you’re a highly employable candidate when applying at any restaurant. Dining establishments are some of the most abundant business types, so within every city there should be dozens of restaurants to apply at. Plus, earning one of these degrees before moving abroad will position you to explore the interesting culinary cultures of the world from an insider’s perspective.

11. Software Engineering Degree

Software developers are in high demand right now because less than 0.02% of the world’s population is even engaged in this profession and only a percentage of those people hold a degree for it. As a degree-holding software engineer, you’re essentially guaranteed to find work wherever you are, and since most of it will be remotely assigned, there are often no restrictions on where you able to work. However, some of the highest-paying software development jobs are salary-based in-house positions, where you’ll work as part of a development team for a specific company. Alternatively, you can put your degree to use as a freelancer to develop and maintain software remotely from anywhere. Or, you could go into business building apps for yourself as an entrepreneur.

12. Customer Service Degree

Customer service departments are almost always looking for help because companies need to add more staff to accommodate expansion. With this degree type, you’ll be eligible for a variety of positions including receptionist, phone support representatives, sales agent, server, and many others. The customer service industry employs more people than any other sector, so in terms of how many jobs this degree makes you eligible for, it might be the best on this list.

13. Information Technology (IT) Degree

Professionals with IT degrees are in high demand because there are roughly 45,000 positions opening in this sector every year. Every new company or existing business that needs to expand will eventually need to hire a computer/information systems manager to keep the digital side of their business functioning smoothly. You could probably show up to most developed nations without a game plan and as long as you have your IT degree in hand, you’ll probably be employed within a matter of weeks. In fact, many companies will arrange to pay for your travel and hospitality expenses as an incentive for you to come work for them.

14. Physical Therapy Degree

Physical therapy is another area of the healthcare industry that is experiencing a shortage of workers, primarily because the path to becoming a therapist can be lengthy. If you know you want to move to a foreign country in the future, earning a degree in physical therapy can help make you more eligible for jobs at clinics and other healthcare facilities. You can also use your skill set to provide therapy services on a freelance business, or even start your own practice. The average salary is quite desirable at around $90,000 per year and there are almost 70,000 new job openings in this sector every year.

15. Medical Secretary

If you’ve ever had to wait in the emergency room for hours, you know first-hand just how understaffed hospitals and clinics are in today’s world. The problem is only getting worse and it extends to the clerical side of things with a shortage of medical secretaries that is expected to continue for at least another decade. There are a whopping 130,000 new job openings in this sector every year, so you should have no problem finding a job with this kind of degree in any developed nation.

16. Dental Assistant

Many people aspire to be dentists, but not many are too excited about becoming an assistant of any kind. While this isn’t exactly the most prestigious long-term option, that unappealing aspect of it makes it a job that is in high demand – there simply aren’t enough people who are trying to be a dental assistant to meet the average demand of 64,000 new job openings every year. While the pay isn’t amazing at around $40,000 per year, you can rest assured that there’s a dentist’s office somewhere in the country you want to move to that will hire you on the spot if you have a degree in this field.

17. Medical and Health Services Manager

Finally, another healthcare position that is in high demand is the role of medical/health services manager. You’ll need to be ready to commit to a lengthy educational path of at least 4 years, but once you’ve graduated, you’ll be a highly eligible candidate for one of more than 70,000 new job openings every year. Furthermore, the salary is very attractive at around $113,000 on average and there are senior positions that pay even more than that, so it’s a degree that’s certainly worth the wait.

Pick One and Stick with It

As you can see, the vast majority of the degrees suggested above will take you a minimum of 4 years to earn, so these are all career paths that will require long-term commitment. If you’re part of the minority of dedicated professionals who follow through with their schooling, those 4 years will go by before you know it and you’ll be one of the most eligible applicants for a job that you can find in any country in the world. Having that kind of employment flexibility will always be a perk, even if you decide to stay in the country where you earned your degree.

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