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Italy: Career Prospects - Must read

Finding a graduate career in Italy

How do you find a job in Italy once you graduate if you’re an international student? Can you even stay in the country to begin with? Find out now...

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What’s the job market like in Italy?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you’ll know that Italy’s economy took a big hit in the financial crisis and is still suffering. The number of jobs in Italy is limited and a lot of Italian graduates have had to leave the country to find work elsewhere. It's not all bad news though! If you're skilled in certain areas and are fluent in Italian as well as English, you could have a competitive advantage thanks to your international background. 


Which areas are most in demand?
Areas like tourism and mechanical engineering are often looking for international graduates with fluent English, a good command of Italian and relevant qualifications*. Other popular industries inlcude fashion, food processing, motor vehicles and wine. 

Major companies that are often looking for skilled international gradautes include Pirelli, Luxottica Group, Fiat, UniCredit Group, Enel, Eni and Generali Group. 

 

*Note: It's worth checking that your qualifications will be recognised in Italy. If you've graduated from an Italian university or a university that is in the EEA this shouldn't be a problem as following the Bologna Process, degrees from recognised institutions in the EU have transferable skills. If your qualification is from outside the EU it is worth seeking advice from your university's international office before planning your move to Italy with a view to finding a long-term job there.

 

Am I allowed to work in Italy as an international student?

As an international student you’re currently allowed to work up to 1,040 hours per year. Provided you are graduating at Master’s level or above, you’ll be able to remain in Italy for up to 12 months to look for a job. If you’ve completed your Bachelor degree in Italy and want to stay on to work, you’ll need to switch your student permit for an Italian work permit, provided you can find an employer in the country that will sponsor you. It's worth noting that this visa process can take a few months, so try and get organised as early as you can. 

 

Tips:

  • Apply early. There aren’t a huge amount of jobs available and you’ll be competing against Italian graduates, so make sure you apply as early as possible.
  • Network at all opportunities. Lots of business oppportunities in Italy are built personal contacts so start networking early on.
  • Take a module in Italian language or invest in a language course. Having a strong command of the language will stand you in good stead in the interview, the working world in Italy and when building relationships with your colleagues.
  • Look for jobs in multinational companies first. This is where most of the opportunities will lie for international graduates.
  • Be honest! There’s no use saying you’re fluent in Italian if you’re not as it's likely you'll be tested on this in the interview. 
  • Do your research. How can your international background and skills help the company? Think about where you see the company going forward and don't be afraid to voice ideas on this in the interview process. 

 

Useful sites for finding a job in Italy:

Lavorare.net – graduate jobs
Primolavoro – graduate jobs
Cambio Lavoro - recruitment site
EURES (for Europeans) 

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About Author

Katie Duncan is Editor of Hotcourses Abroad and is an NCTJ-qualified journalist and University of Exeter graduate. Having worked at an English language school in the UK, as an educational consultant in Spain and as a reporter in the international education sector, she is well placed to guide you through your study abroad journey. Katie grew up in Australia, which perhaps explains her unusual reptile collection, comprising of a bearded dragon (Bill) and tortoise (Matilda).