Study seeks college-educated immigrants from Seattle

Summer days make the view of the Seattle skyline from Kerry Park worth the trek up Queen Anne. (Photo by Annaliese Davis)
A study on skilled and educated immigrant workers seeks respondents from Seattle. (Photo by Annaliese Davis)

Are you an immigrant with a degree from abroad who can’t find a position in the field you studied? Then the nonprofit World Education Services is looking for your input on a study on “underutilized” college-educated immigrant workers.

The group is conducting a Knight Foundation-funded study on college-educated immigrant workers, and seeks respondents from the Seattle area.

World Education Services is conducting the survey as part of a study to track the experiences of underutilized, skilled immigrants in six cities to discover ways to better integrate and leverage the talents of workers who were educated abroad. The study, which is funded with a $70,000 grant from the  John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, also includes Detroit, Miami, Philadelphia and San Jose, California, and Boston, as well as Seattle.

Seattle and the other cities were selected because they have large pools of college-educated immigrants.

According to World Education Services, the goal of the survey is to document the factors that help immigrant professionals to succeed, and the barriers that can hold them back. The Institute for Immigration Research at George Mason University will serve as lead research partner, according to the group.

The survey ends Dec. 20.

“Gathering this information will help ensure that cities can draw on the full talents of their foreign-born residents,” said Paul Feltman, director of the Global Talent Bridge initiative at World Education Services, in a prepared statement. “While many of these individuals hold jobs as doctors or engineers, others have struggled to transfer their international credentials and obtain professional employment in the United States; this study will help us to understand why.”

According to World Education Services, approximately 3.7 million immigrants to the United States have degrees from abroad, but 26 percent of these skilled workers are unemployed or working in low-wage jobs.

Results will be publicly announced in March 2015.


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