Many MBA graduates consider moving abroad for their careers. But beyond the opportunities for personal and professional enrichment and the challenge of adapting to a new environment, what are the implications for their careers in the long term, especially their compensation? To find out, the authors investigated the careers of MBA graduates from major European business schools. They found that graduates who moved abroad once or twice after earning their MBA actually received a smaller salary increase than those who stayed put. They also found that international migration has more positive effects for people who continue to move across countries, especially those who become “superglobal.”
Many ambitious executives pursue international careers. In MBA classes and subsequent executive education programs, they often ask us whether we think moving abroad will help or hurt their career advancement. Will taking a job in another country give them skills and experience that will become more valuable to employers over time, or will it set them back?