The exodus of French graduates: Key points

Sophie Inge
Sophie Inge - [email protected]
The exodus of French graduates: Key points
Where, why and for how long are French graduates going abroad? Photos: Tulane PR/Kusterand Wildharbor Photography

Over a quarter of young French graduates are setting their sights abroad in an attempt to get onto the career ladder. But why do they want to leave, where exactly are they going and will they ever return? A new study has the answers.


Twenty-seven percent of young French graduates imagine their careers beginning on foreign shores, according to a new study by the international firm Deloitte.

Although the number of graduates packing their bags and heading to the airports is consistent with last year's figures, but showed an increase compared with 2012 in which 13 percent said they could imagine looking abroad for work.

But who are these graduates, where are they going and will they ever return? 


According to RTL, which published the results of the survey on Thursday,  the majority of these students are at PHD level or from the prestigious Grandes Écoles.


Canada was found to be the most attractive destination, followed by the United States, Great Britain and Australia, the study found.

How long?

Almost half of these graduates (44 percent) imagine themselves staying there between one and five years, and 11 percent said they would stay less than a year.

Meanwhile, 12 percent said they would stay between six and ten years and five percent said they would remain between 11 and 15 years.

Worryingly for France, 28 percent said it would be a one-way ticket, at least for the duration of their career, according to the survey.


So what has spurred this desire to up sticks and quit their homeland?

Sixty-three percent blamed the flagging job market, saying it spurred them to look abroad for work, while 51 percent blamed the state of the economy in general.

Over half (54 percent) attributed their desire to go abroad to the political and social environment in France

For 33 percent, it was the disappointing career prospects in France that propelled them to the exits. 

Perhaps surprisingly, over a quarter (26 percent) said they would quit France because of the low quality of life.

The latest statistics on expat graduates come in the same week figures were released which showed that France's jobless rate has hit a new record high, with 3.3 million out of work - roughly 11.1 percent of the workforce.

The figures come in spite of François Hollande’s pledge to reverse the trend by the end of 2013.

SEE ALSO: Crisis not taxes pushing French to go abroad


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