Global jobs become more appealing

February 20, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Touch economic conditions are forcing job seekers to look beyond our borders. Thousands are attending the two-day International Career Fair in San Francisco which kicked off on Friday.

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Instead of waiting for conditions to get better here in the U.S., many job seekers are expanding their options and considering jobs overseas.

Azhar Sayed just finished his masters in engineering at San Jose State University. A job overseas isn't exactly his first choice, but he is a realist.

"Getting a job is more important than the location right now. So far now, it's okay, if you find a good job, it gives you know, enough exposure," said Sayed.

And that seems to be the prevailing sentiment at the International Career Fair in San Francisco, where job seekers came face-to-face with recruiters representing companies with positions all over the world.

"Even though the news around you is depressing, companies laying-off everywhere, but actually we were able to find recruiters from different countries with job openings," said Katie Renati, the career fair organizer.

Among them is Canada. The province of Alberta projects a labor shortage of 93,000 workers within the next decade, so they're aggressively recruiting, going so far as offering permanent residency to those who hold a work visa here in the U.S.

"There are specific areas that we're looking for, such as I.T., engineering, health care, and if they are within those areas, they can apply to be a permanent resident," said Rhonda From, a recruitment.

All of this is offering job seekers hope, but it's also making immigration experts here in the U.S. a bit uneasy. Jim Mayock is an immigration attorney and says the U.S. could be losing a lot of fine talent.

"It's important for us to keep them on a long term basis and so we really lose an investment that we've made in training them and in many cases educating them in American universities, if we let them go off to other countries," said Mayock.

But while that may be the case, job seekers say in this economic climate, they have no choice but to go wherever the job takes them. And many are excited about the possibilities.

"It's about being curious about human beings in general, different cultures, different ethnicities," said Colin Williams, a job seeker.

The International Career Fair continues through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Cathedral Hill Hotel in San Francisco.

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