Blog Student life Career Focus: 6 reasons why you should gain work experience in New York City
Aerial view of lower Manhattan, New YorkAerial view of lower Manhattan, New York

Career Focus: 6 reasons why you should gain work experience in New York City

Gaining work experience in the USA — either during or after your degree — will really help you to stand out in a competitive job market.

New York City in particular is full of opportunities, so let’s take a look at why you should gain work experience in New York and kickstart your career there.

1. There’s a diverse range of opportunities in different industries

Over 1 million businesses operate in New York City, so while the competition for jobs is high, there are lots of different industries you could choose to work in.

It’s well known that New York City is the financial capital of the world. Many big financial corporations are based in the city, including the world’s 2 largest stock exchanges, the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ.
But it isn’t all about finance — hospitality, technology, publishing, media, advertising and fashion are also major employers. The fashion industry alone provides jobs for over 180,000 people in New York, making up 6% of the City’s working population.

Some of the top 100 biggest companies in New York City include:

  • Barnes & Noble
  • Christian Dior
  • IBM
  • NBCUniversal
  • Ogilvy
  • Omnicom
  • Ralph Lauren
  • Sheraton Hotels and Resorts

New York City is also home to 62 acute care hospitals, including 11 public hospitals. In fact, there are more hospitals within the city limits than most US states have in total. This makes it a great location for aspiring medical professionals.
There are also plenty of opportunities in arts and culture, education and academia. New York is home to over 100 museums and around 1,500 galleries, as well as top schools and universities, including Pace University.

Recent Pace students and graduates have gone on to accept jobs and internships at employers including the Bank of China, Goldman Sachs, Spotify, the United Nations and more. It just goes to show that if you gain work experience in New York, there could be a world of opportunities open to you!

2. It has great networking opportunities and a thriving social scene

Networking is a key part of finding a good job in New York. Pace University offers a career preparation program specifically for international students called INSPIRE (International Student Professional Readiness Education).

The program can help you grow your professional network by finding ways for you to meet prospective employers, attend careers fairs and panel discussions, visit company work sites and find mentoring opportunities.

Pace holds 10 careers fairs each year, including one specifically for international students, and over 350 employers come to recruit on campus annually.

It’s easy to meet people socially in New York too. You can use websites like Eventbrite to find fun local events to attend — many of them are free. There’s also, where you can connect with likeminded people who share your hobbies and interests.

Groups of entrepreneurs and startup companies also schedule meetings on a regular basis, so you might be able to expand your professional network that way too.

3. New Yorkers have higher salaries

While it’s true that the cost of living in New York City is high, the salaries are also generally higher than in the rest of the country. For example, the average salary of an Executive Assistant in New York is $63,341, which is 19% higher than the national average.

Overall, recent graduates from Pace University in New York make about $60,235 per year, putting Pace in the top 11% of US colleges for salary potential (, 2021–22).

4. It’s an iconic city to work in

The buzz of the big city makes working in New York an unforgettable experience. Countless famous movies and TV shows were filmed in New York City — the high-rise buildings, yellow cabs and impressive skyline are instantly recognizable.

Many tall office buildings have incredible views of the city, and you can take a stroll in the city’s public parks on your lunch breaks.
In New York, the office is considered a hub, so there tends to be lots of other amenities and businesses nearby. It’s easy to step out of your office and find cafes, restaurants, pubs and karaoke bars. You can find good coffee, tasty food or something fun to do after work within a matter of minutes.

Aerial view of New York's central park

5. The public transportation system makes it easy to get around

You certainly won’t need a car to get around New York City. You can get across the city relatively easily on the subway or via the city’s bus network. The city even has ferries and a public bike sharing program too, so you can get some exercise in while exploring your surroundings.

It’s often quicker to get around on foot than you might think, as the city is quite closely packed. Walking is a great way to get to know New York better, and you can enjoy some cool views along the way. 

6. It attracts an international workforce

New York is a hub for global business, with many foreign corporations based in the city. International companies naturally attract a diverse workforce from around the world — nearly half of all workers in New York were born abroad.
With the help of OPT (Optional Practical Training), you may be able to work in New York for up to 3 years on your student visa. OPT allows international students with an F-1 visa to work in the USA for 12 months.

If your degree is in an eligible science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) field, you can extend your OPT for an additional 24 months.
If you gain work experience in New York, there’s no doubt that you’ll enjoy some truly amazing opportunities. There are so many ways you can grow your network, learn new skills and develop your career when you work in New York.

With such a diverse range of companies based in the city, it’s one of the best places in the world to start your international career. 

Discover more

scoreboard of symbols

Great results in our 2023 student satisfaction survey

Learn more about the fantastic results of Kaplan's student satisfaction survey!

Lauretta a student from York smiling and posing

York student Lauretta’s tips for managing the January blues 

Lauretta gives her tips on how to overcome the January blues while studying abroad.

Stephanie Udoh posing in front of UWE Students Union building

My pathway to a PhD and TED Talks with UWE Bristol’s International College

Stephanie studied for a Foundation Certificate at UWE Bristol's International College and is now doing a PhD.