Finding a graduate career in Sweden for Singaporeans
Sweden certainly has made a mark on the globe with well-known international brands such as Skype, SoundCloud, GPS, H&M and of course, IKEA. As well as being the world’s 6th most competitive economy and having low employment rates, it makes every sense to want to start off your career there, once you graduate from a Swedish university.
How do you go about making arrangements to remain in the country and what are your prospects as an international student? Read on to find out more:
WHAT IS THE GRADUATE MARKET LIKE?
Though relatively small, Sweden is known to be the ‘talent magnet’ due to its general forward-thinking and creative culture. New ideas and skills are welcome and may have a good chance to grow and develop in a country where innovation is a key industry.
Apart from technological advancements and innovation, Sweden in general has a strong export-based economy involving natural resources such as timber and iron ore, as well as in technology and hydropower.
Hence, graduates within the engineering field are highly sought after, especially those equipped with knowledge in design, computer science and business. Its engineering sector alone accounts for 50% of total exports and output.
Apart from that, their telecommunications, automotive, ICT and pharmaceutical industries are also hiring graduates with backgrounds in information science, pharmacology and chemical & materials engineering.
HOW CAN I STAY IN SWEDEN?
To remain in Sweden after graduation, you will have to apply for a work permit and have been offered a job BEFORE you graduate. The prospective employer will need to fill out an ‘Offer of Employment’ form, which you will then submit along with your application.
You could do so online, but make sure that you have all the required documents, as well as your email and a credit or debit card to pay for the fees. You will then receive the outcome of your application via email.
If you are not in Sweden at that time or unable to make an online application, you may still download the form and send it via the nearest Swedish embassy. It is a good idea to contact them beforehand just to let them know that you have been offered employment and intend to apply for a work permit.
WHERE CAN I FIND A JOB?
Remember that the Swedish are exceptionally proficient in English, so you may be at a disadvantage if you are unable to speak the language. However, there are certain websites dedicated to international expats such as the EURES portal that advertise English-speaking jobs via the Swedish Employment Agency (SEA).
If you see a position that is desirable but advertised privately, you could contact the company directly and ask them if they could advertise on SEA. If they decide to consider you for the position and agree to do so, then you will have to ensure that the position has been advertised for at least 10 days before you could apply for a work permit.
Swedish universities are of course, equipped with helping students find a job. Universities such as the Lund University have efficient career centres dedicated to providing students with information.
While you are in Sweden, it may also be a good idea to take up some conversational Swedish to enhance your prospects. You could even ask your university if they do organize such courses, as well as ask them for advice on how to approach the Swedish business culture. You might have to book an appointment to see the careers counselor, but try to get as much information as you can!
For more information about studying in the Sweden, go to www.hotcourses.com.sg/sweden
Photo by: Cecilia Larsson/imagebank.sweden.se
A Singaporean globe-trotter who is now based in London. Khai has travelled and lived in several countries due to her airline background. She enjoys dancing, painting, cooking, taking scenic photographs and writing about her adventure travels.