Skilled professionals’ migration - Human migration Essay Example


Transnational migration of professionals has been a major problem in most countries as this form of migration continues to increase - Skilled professionals’ migration introduction. Transnational migration of professionals refers to the movement of skilled professionals or individuals from one country to another country due to profession related reasons. Transnational migration of skilled professions entails migration which is global in nature. Professional migration from any country leads to a brain drain necessitating importation of other professionals which is very expensive to any government. Brain drain occurs when professionals migrate from a country due to different reasons leaving a country without skilled professions. Brian drain has become a concern of most of the countries especially due to the negative impacts such migration has especially on the home country of the immigrants. Countries have also ganged up to fight transnational migration of professionals with the European Union being on the fore front to fight this form of migration. There are different factors which have contributed to the rise of transnational countries being experience today which are controlled by either pull or push factors and at times both. The effects of transnational professional migration are not only felt by the countries but also by the professions which are left without role models and expertise. In the earlier years, it was believed that opportunities for better employment were the major contributor of professional migration. However, though this is a factor aiding professional migration, other factors have been identified which enhance or cause professional migration (AUN REPORT, n. d; para 2-4).


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Causes of transnational migration of professionals

One of the major factors which have contributed greatly to transnational migration is search for better terms for employment. Most of professionals migrate to other countries with an aim to look for better job prospects. Low pay is one of the major contributors which have led to increased migration of professionals in most countries. This is usually the case in most of the developing countries. Most developing countries lack the sufficient resources to pay the professionals while on the other hand developed countries have sufficient resources for this task. Professional thus ends up migrating to look for better employment terms as well as other initiatives in other countries. Low pay is one of the push factors which have contributed largely to the increase of transnational migration of professionals especially in the health sector of most European countries. Search for better pay and job security was and still is a major cause of transnational migration of skilled professionals. As most of the companies start participating in the international markets or trade, need for skilled professionals have increased and this have also led to increased transnational migration of such professionals. In the current world, human resource is one of the most competed for by corporations especially with the realization that this resource is the major contributor towards success, productivity, profitability and competitiveness. Companies are thus willing to pay huge amount of money to attract qualified professionals which have seen most of the professionals changing jobs and work places regularly (Cassell, n. d; para 2-3).

Another push factor which has led to an increase in transnational migration increase is poor working conditions in home countries which makes professionals migrate to other countries. This scenario also mostly occurs but not exclusively in developing and poor countries. One prerequisite of retaining valuable employees in any organization or country is to ensure that the working environment is conducive enough for the employees. In some countries, the terms of labour and employment laws may make the working environment for professionals not conducive thus leading to their migration. Labour practices of any country are capable of either attracting or dismissing skilled professionals. In some countries, labour laws in operation are oppressive to the employees and despite the fact that payment for labour may be good; such laws may drive away professionals from a country. Countries which are committed to the welfare of the workers tend to attract highly qualified professionals that the countries which have less stringent employee rights laws. Poor employee relations laws and regulations in most of the countries have contributed greatly to the transnational migration of skilled professionals. Professionals migrate to areas where labour laws favour employees rather than exploiting them. Countries which have instituted labour laws to ensure that workers are well handled by employers tend to the major destinations for professionals. At times, good working environment is chosen over good pay by most professionals. For highly skilled professionals, the working condition in a place is very important especially due to the tasks which they perform (AUN REPORT, n. d; para 10-11).

Resources are also determinants of transnational migration of professionals. Most of the highly skilled professionals are constantly involved in research work which requires complex resources for them to be carried out. Lack of such resources may make a professional migrate in search for them. Lack of resources deemed necessary by a professor to carry out or effectively exercise his or her profession is also a leading cause of transnational migration of professions. Apart from lack of resources for performing professional tasks, lack of career advancement prospects has also led to professional migration in the past. Like in any organization, career advancement is very important as this helps one to meet his or her self actualization needs. Organizations which offer career advancement opportunities are more likely to retain employees than those which do not. This also applies in cases of countries in professional retention cases. For a country to retain professionals there must be career advancement opportunities within the country. Most of the professionals migrate to countries where career advancement prospects are high thus contributing to transnational professional’s migration. Some of the facilities which have encouraged transnational migration of professionals include learning facilities as well as presence of research and development opportunities. Most professionals in their quest to gain more knowledge migrate to areas or countries where they feel they can attain it. Research and development opportunities also act as pull factors for most skilled professionals (Brussels, 2003; para 4-6).

Another push factor which has contributed to an increase in transnational migration of professional is political instability in a country. Countries which are marred by war and conflicts do not offer a good working environment for skilled professionals to work in which makes them to look for better places to work in. political instability is a major contributor to transnational migration of professionals while political stability acts as a pull factor for the skilled professionals. Countries which are politically unstable hinder career growth as well as research and development. Also, the working environment is affected by political instability thus making it not to be conducive for employees and more so the professionals. Countries which have been experiencing political unrest like Zimbabwe in Africa as well as some war torn countries in the Middle East are faced with problems of brain drain. Also, economic instability has the same effects as political instability in relation to migration of professionals.

Another recent cause of transnational migration of skilled professionals is rise in globalization and competition for these skilled labourers or employees. Most of the corporations have gone global and competition for skilled professionals has also increased. Globalization has contributed greatly to migration of professionals as multinational companies import such skilled professionals to help them to be competitive in the global markets. Usually, such corporations offer good terms of employment thus enticing the workers to migrate to their companies. Also, as companies open up subsidiaries in foreign countries, workers are forced to relocate to such countries which have also been a major migration tool for most skilled professionals. Globalization has also led to formation of many trade treaties which have led to the opening up of countries boundaries for foreign direct investment. Opening up of borders of various countries have made it easier for professionals to obtain work permit as well as citizenship while in some instances, such requirements may not be necessary for citizens of member states. This has enabled free movement of workers especially the skilled professionals in search of investment and employment opportunities thus contributing to the increase in transnational professionals’ migration (Chimanikire, n. d; para 7).

Governments have also contributed greatly to the transnational migration of professions in the recent past. Most governments of different countries have taken up the roles of importing highly qualified personnel which have increased immigration of such professionals. The health sectors is the mostly sector by this form of transnational professionals migration. Most of the developed countries are currently importing intellectuals from developing countries to work for them and due to the attractive employment packages they offer and security of job, skilled professionals end up migrating either permanently or on contractual basis in such areas. This is also a cause of transnational professional migration (Emeagwali, n. d; para 8).

Professionals migrate to areas which have pull factors. The pull factors are the opposite of the push factors which include economic and political stability, career growth and advancement prospects, good working conditions and terms of employment and availability of resources required to exercise ones profession.

Transnational migration of professionals affects not only the individuals and the countries involved but also the professions in a country. In most cases, skilled professions migrate voluntarily to fulfil their dreams and desires for self actualization. At times, the professionals migrate so as to earn better pay in other countries. Migration of a professional usually have positive impact on an individual professional in that such a person is able to fulfil his or her dreams that is self actualization. As noted earlier, some skilled professionals simply migrate to areas where there are adequate resources to enable them carry out their profession. As such, their driving force is usually utilizing their skills which in turn lead to greater feeling of fulfilment and satisfaction. Career advancement is also attained by professionals who migrate in search for better career opportunities in foreign countries. Skilled professionals who migrate to other countries in search of better terms of employment and better payment plans, their living standards are improved as well as those of their families (Chang, 1992; para 3-7).

Professions are also affected by migration of skilled professions from a country as well as into a country. When skilled professionals migrate from a country, this denies other upcoming professionals a chance to interact with already successful professionals in such fields thus retarding the growth of such a profession. Professional’s migration leads to brain drain in a country which leads it without real models and sometimes even qualified tutors to ensure such a profession grows in a country. Poor and developing countries are the most affected by brain drain problem. Individuals who are highly educated when they migrate from a country, the country is denied a chance of advancing and passing on such knowledge to the younger generation. Professions suffer negatively when there is massive transnational migration of professionals. On the other hand, professions flourish in the countries where the skilled professionals go to. Usually, professionals are attracted to go to a country due to the resources available which may be vital in career advancement and research and development. When professionals are granted the right working environment, they are bound to be productive, creative and innovative leading to an advancement of professionalism and skills in areas where such a professional is working in. skills of professionals are usually passed over to the younger generation especially in work places leading to emergence of a trend of skilled professionals. To countries which have the pull factors for attracting skilled professionals, such professions are bound to flourish in these countries while profession may become extinct in countries where skilled professionals migrate from (IDS Health and Development Information, 2006; para 4-5).

As mentioned earlier, globalization has contributed to the rising rates of transnational migration of professionals especially where corporations relocate or open up subsidiaries in foreign countries. Globalization has led to the spread of professions in different areas especially in the developing countries in Africa. In such cases skills are introduced in an area where they did not earlier exist. Transnational migration of skilled professionals have also had an impact on the professions in that professionals learn from different cultures new ways of tackling different issues thus enriching the overall profession. Interaction with different cultures also helps in harmonizing the profession throughout the world thus creating “professional understanding” within any profession despite where it is practiced or exercised (Caribbean Community, 2009; para 7).


Skilled professionals’ migration is a major problem which is facing many sectors in different countries especially the engineering sector, science sector and health care. Globalization has contributed greatly to transnational migration of qualified and skilled professionals around the world. Migration of skilled professionals leads to brain drain in a country necessitating importation of other professionals which is a costly exercise for most of the countries. Migration of professionals is caused by both push and pulls factors whereby the push factors are those factors which drive away professionals from a country. They include such factors as low pay, poor or substandard working conditions, and lack of job security, lack of career growth and advancement opportunities and political and economic instability in a country. The pull factors on the other hand are all the factors which attract skilled factors to a country. These factors include better terms of employment, economic and political stability, career growth prospects, availability of resources to carry out research and development relevant for exercising one’s skills, better working conditions among others. In order to reduce transnational migration of skilled professionals, a country should endeavour to reduce all the push factors and instead create an enabling environment for the professionals to exercise their skills.

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