International Students Have the Skills for a Career Online

Guest's picture

Today's guest post is written by David Gross who is the managing director of InterGreater, a London based digital consultancy. In this post, David gives some insight into why foreign students are well-suited to a career online and, in particular, ‘SEO'.

What is SEO and why is it important?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. In the simplest terms, this is the art of helping websites rank as highly as possible for ‘natural listings' on search engines. To help explain what natural listings are, here is an example:


Here, we have searched the term ‘foreign students jobs'. Indicated in red are the ‘paid for' listings. Businesses use an advertising technique called ‘PPC' to place their websites here - and this costs money.

In blue are the natural listings - not only do these get 80% of all clicks, but they are free! As a consequence, businesses would like to feature as high up on this part of the page as possible - and that is what SEO is all about.

What might make foreign students particularly good at SEO?

  • Writing skills in different languages: To do well in SEO, you need great content and this in turn requires good writing skills. Although, for many international students, English is not a first language, they study through the medium of English. This will lead to good writing skills in English as well as in native languages. It is important for SEO consulting companies and for businesses doing their own SEO to branch out into other countries and therefore writing strong content in several languages is an attractive skill.
  • Independence and initiative: web-based roles can require a lot of independent work - after all, the only starting equipment you need is a laptop and internet connection. As such, you must have a good work ethic, self-motivation and focus: qualities you will certainly have needed when basing yourself in a new country to gain academic achievements.
  • Relationship builders: it is estimated that about 50% of SEO rankings come from getting good links from other web sites to your content. Building good relationships can be critical to achieving these links. Additionally, if you start as a freelancer, you'll need to rely on building working relationships with a number of companies. When moving from one country to another, it is essential to build up relationships in a similar way and therefore many international students have already practiced these skills.

What exactly would I be doing?

SEO is not just about creating a nice-looking website with a few useful keywords. You'll need to gather links from other websites (perseverance & research), create unique and genuinely insightful content (writing skills & research) as well as coming up with new ideas to drive traffic to your site (creative & lateral thinking).

You could either try building and marketing your own websites or you could look for internships and jobs and companies that do their own SEO or you could focus on SEO consulting business which is what we do at InterGreater.


Even in 2013, the world wide web is still growing quickly. More and more people are being trained to use the Internet, which makes the potential reach for businesses greater and greater. As such, the world of web-marketing will continue to grow, making an SEO-based role a wise choice for the future.

If you have excellent written and communication skills, can think both creatively and analytically, and have a bit of technological know-how, then SEO could be a strong career option for you.

Sound interesting? If you want to take the next steps and start building up a more in-depth understanding, I recommend reading the SEOMoz beginners guide to SEO. Feel free also to leave any queries in the comments area and one of the InterGreater team will do their best to answer them.

Share with friends