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The basics
Italy: Career Prospects - Must read

How to find 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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So you’ve decided that working and living in Italy is the path you would like to take. While the experience of a new environment and culture is always beneficial, it’s also important to do your research and be aware of what your options are. We take a closer look at the Italian job market for international student graduates and what you need to know if you are to succeed. 


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 of 2008 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. 

Find out how to align your study and career path successfully. 


Which areas and fields are most in-demand in Italy?


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 include fashion, food processing, motor manufacturing and hospitality. Major companies that are often looking for skilled international graduates include Pirelli; Luxottica Group; Fiat; UniCredit Group; Enel; Eni; and Generali Group. 


It's very important to check that your qualifications will be recognised in Italy. If you've graduated from an Italian university or a university that is in the EEA region 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 to find a long-term job there.


It’s always useful to get a better idea of the types of skills employers are looking for in graduates. 


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 a master’s degree 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’s 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. 


Get up to speed with the post-study work landscape for international students


Tips to help you get a job in Italy

There are some things you can do that will increase your chances of finding work in Italy:


  • 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 every opportunity. Lots of business opportunities in Italy are built with personal contacts so start networking early on.

  • Take a module in the 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. 


What’s very important is that you do your research and understand all of the elements involved. Don’t be afraid to chat with an education counsellor or your university careers office before making any decisions. You could also draw some inspiration from our take on why studying abroad is always a good idea.