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The basics
Finland: Career Prospects - Must read

Finding a graduate career in Finland

Learn about post-study options for international students in Finland

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The number of international degree students has increased in Finland greatly according to the country’s National Agency for Education. Furthermore, almost half of foreign graduates are still employed in Finland five years after their graduation. If you’re looking to stay in Finland after your studies, it’s important to understand the labour market and what your chances of staying and gaining employment looks like.


Here are some of the most important questions for post-study opportunities in Finland answered.


What’s the graduate market like?

The graduate market in Finland is generally a positive environment for students looking to work after their studies. As of 2017, the unemployment rate in Finland stands at 7.5%, an 11-month low and there are notable industries that are big growth areas for Finland such as electronics, metal, wood and paper and agriculture and forestry.


However, it’s the healthcare sector that Finland is placing a real emphasis on with the older generation of workers retiring, leaving a gap in the labour force. Other shortage industries include social work and services that support public and business life.


Though there are jobs available, and graduates with experience in engineering, IT and electronics are valued in this market, it is inherently important that candidates have a working knowledge of Finnish. The language barrier is often the biggest form of competition for jobs with home students often fluent in several languages such as English, Swedish (which is an official language), German, French and even Spanish.


Can I stay?

If you are from an EU member state, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, then you do not need to have a residence permit for Finland.


However, if the above does not apply to you then you will need to apply for a residence permit.


Students will normally have a residence permit to last them for the duration of their studies. They are able to apply for an extended permit which will allow them the time to look for work after they graduate. This lasts for a year and must be applied for whilst your study permit is still valid.


According to the Migri website, once you have completed a degree or other qualifications in Finland, ‘you may apply for a new residence permit on the ground of work after you have found a job.’


Once you get a job and have lived in Finland for a continuous amount of time, you may be able to apply for permanent residence.


How can I find a job?

There are plenty of resources out there to help you with your job search. A good place to start is with your university or UAS. Their careers services may be able to advise you on where to look and what to do to help you land a job. Job fairs are also a great way to meet prospective employers – these may sometimes be organised between universities and organisations.


International jobseekers are encouraged to register with the Employment Economic Development Office. They also help with advice on getting a job and completing application forms. The Study in Finland website recommends actively seeking out options by venturing out and contacting employers in the area you’re studying in.


Typically, candidates submit a CV and a cover letter. Some companies run their recruitment by using online application forms.


Like most countries, there are websites that advertise jobs – Jobs in Helsinki and the Work in Finland websites are really good sources for searching for jobs across a number of disciplines.


Likewise, if you want a comprehensive guide to every aspect of living in Finland and finding a job there, the Expat Finland website breaks down each stage with useful information.


Top Tips

  • Apply for your extended residence permit before your current one expires
  • Familiarise yourself with Finnish customs when it comes to job-searching such as presenting yourself in interviews, what to include on your CV
  • Use your university or UAS’s Career Services for advice and if you have any questions
  • Make use of key websites that offer official information such as InfoPankki and Study in Finland.


Now that you’re ready to tackle the Finnish job market, why not browse courses in Finland now and get your plans to study abroad going?