A significant increase in internationally mobile students has been observed in the past decades. With the strong intention of enhancing their competitiveness in the global labour market, a growing number of students have embarked on their learning journeys through studying abroad or enrolling in transnational Higher Education programmes. These students expect the international learning experience will enhance their future job prospects and career advancement. However, whether or not this learning experience enables students to secure promising positions in the global labour market and make their investments in Higher Education worthwhile remains debatable. Drawing on both student surveys and in-depth interviews, this study explores how international or transnational Higher Education affects job prospects and career development, with particular reference to the perspective of employable skills and contextual influences. The respondents of the present research rate their learning experiences highly for hard knowledge, soft skills and cross-cultural understanding. The majority of respondents suggest that the international and transnational learning experience will positively contribute to their career development. Such findings are supported by similar studies related to the job prospects of returning Chinese students after studying overseas. This article contributes to a better understanding of how students assess their studying abroad affected their personal development, job prospects and career development. Copyright © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.