While many professional fields in the U.S. require licensure, refugees from professional backgrounds who are not immediately able to pursue these credentials don’t necessarily need to be stuck in low-level jobs.
A recent post by our friends at WES Global Talent Bridge shares some fantastic alternative career pathways that highly skilled refugees (and those who work with them) may want to explore, whether they are working towards licensure or just looking for work that is related to their skills.
Here’s a few options they recommend:
- Accountants can analyze budgets and costs for institutions without a certified public accountant (CPA) license.
- Engineers or architects who are not lisenced can still work in technical, advisory, and management positions related to engineering projects.
- Healthcare Professionals have many options including administration, community health, and research. In addition short-term training programs such as CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) or Phlebotomist certification can be a good entry point.
- Lawyers can work as paralegals, and may be able to advise on foreign law as a foreign legal consultant (FLC)
- Social workers and psychologists can find work as community workers in non-profits and schools.
- Teachers can sometimes work as substitutes, or even full-time teachers at private and charter schools. Many states also offer alternate routes to certification or licensure (e.g. New York City Teaching Fellows, Teach for America, etc.)
While newly arrived refugees will likely need assistance identifying and accessing the alternative pathways, the opportunities are there. Some refugee employment programs around the country are hiring dedicated staff or mobilizing volunteers that specialize in identifying opportunities and facilitating networking and career mentorship for highly skilled refugees. This is emerging as a best practice in serving this unique subset of newly arrived refugees.
To read the WES Global Talent Bridge article in its entirety, click here!