Global mobility is on the rise, and many employees want a passport filled with foreign-nation stamps to bolster personal growth and career development. Increasingly, they’re seeking expatriate, commuter, rotational or other alternative assignments to build their resumes. International assignments are a great career development tool and, at the same time, help organizationsaddress talent shortages, close skill gaps and accelerat

No company wants to send talent around the globe without purpose. But for those organizations that do have multinational operations, increasing the availability of international assignments can help draw talent to the organization and secure the talent already in place – all while providing individuals with new skills, opportunities for international travel, new challenges and the experience needed to progress their careers.e business growth – making it a win for both parties.

The trend is riding a global wave. BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries, the UAE and Qatar, are emerging as talent hot spots, driven by shifting economic growth.  By 2025, the Gross Domestic Product of Shanghai and Beijing will be larger than Los Angeles and London, yet global companies operating in China already find it difficult to find and retain talent.

You only have to look to at tertiary education trends to understand the rising interest in international assignments. According to UIS figures, the global stock of internationally mobile tertiary education students reached 3.6 million, up from 2 million in 2000. Students from Central Asia are the most mobile.

But while university and advanced education may prepare students to meet today’s challenges, professionals need real-world experience to advance their skills to thrive in a global economy and meet requirements of the future. Just like the need for HTML5 developers didn’t exist 10 years ago, professionals need to consider the skills they will need for the future to succeed. In a global business environment, cross-cultural proficiency – the kind gained through globe-trotting assignments – is at a premium. Read the whole article.

This article was written by Sylvia Vorhauser-Smith and originally published on Forbes.