Today’s job market all but requires a university education. No matter what industry and position you’re applying for, Fahim Imam-Sadeque, a second-generation Bangladeshi immigrant to the UK, says most companies won’t even call back candidates who don’t have a university degree.
Employers today are even requiring at least a bachelor’s degree for most entry-level positions. This presents a challenge for many people seeking a well-paying job, especially for immigrants who face extra roadblocks to success.
An advanced education doesn’t just increase opportunities for immigrants, though. It also reduces the chances they will live in poverty. Here are some reasons why.
It Improves English Proficiency
One of the biggest hurdles immigrants face when coming to the United Kingdom is the language barrier. If they aren’t able to speak English or don’t speak much, there is often very little they can do to gain well-paying jobs.
School education helps immigrants overcome the language barrier, which is often the first — and biggest — challenge they will face. However, once they have improved their English proficiency, doors of opportunity will begin to open.
When younger immigrants are integrated directly into a school classroom, they begin to learn English at a young age. Then, by the time they reach the end of secondary school, they’ll be prepared to apply to the universities of their choice.
It Integrates Immigrants into Society
There is a nice side benefit of school education for immigrants — it integrates them into society with their peers. Formal schooling places immigrants in the same classrooms as other people their age or education level.
When young immigrants go to school, they meet a diverse group of children their age and become friends with them. In this way, they can become integrated into British culture and learn about their peers’ backgrounds.
This will serve them well as they enter university, where students are often exposed to others from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences. Then, as they gain their degree, they’ll be even more prepared and qualified for a well-paying job.
It Opens Previously-Closed Doors
By improving English proficiency and helping people integrate into society, education opens previously closed doors. Immigrants who don’t have a university education often have a more challenging time getting a well-paid job than their peers do.
When prospective employers review resumes, they often look first and foremost for a university degree. However, instead of that degree, they may look for experience in a related job or field.
That latter part is often more difficult for immigrants to get, as they may be in the process of learning English and integrating into society — the first two challenges they face. As Fahim Imam-Sadeque explains, this puts extra emphasis on university education for immigrants.
When they can obtain a university degree, immigrants can get over that first hurdle with prospective employers.
It Sets Up Future Generations
Education has a profound impact on future generations as well. When immigrant parents obtain a university degree and then a well-paying job, they set themselves up to have a long and prosperous career.
As they can make a good life for themselves in their new country, they’ll also be putting their children in a much more advantageous position right from the start. Children who are given more opportunities and a more stable household have a much better chance at avoiding poverty.
This is why education is so important for immigrants.
About Fahim Imam-Sadeque
Fahim Imam-Sadeque pursued a BSc in Actuarial Science in the desire to follow in his father’s footsteps. He earned his degree at the City University of London in 1991 and became a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries in 1995. As an actuary and trained professional in mathematics and statistics, he had a solid basis for moving into asset management.
As the child of Bangladeshi immigrants to the UK, Fahim is particularly passionate about access to quality education for first and second-generation immigrants to the UK. Mr. Imam-Sadeque also focuses his attention on aiding those UK immigrants from disadvantaged backgrounds with access to better education opportunities in order to expand their horizons in society.