All about student jobs

This post seeks to answer an often repeated question that I have been asked time and again during my tenure as the student ambassador. I did have similar questions when I started off with my applications more than two years back. And my answers at the time came from my own research through Google and other available sources. I hope this post does help prospective students at JYU especially at the Faculty of IT, make an informed decision. 

The question is about job prospects both during the studies and once you graduate from the perspective of international students. And one of the prospective applicants to the SIM course requested me to do a critical analysis about the same. So here goes...

Firstly, Jyväskylä is a small city based on demographical statistics as well as land area. There is a indeed a presence of IT based and IT enabled businesses around the city. But, and this is important, they look for employees who are proficient in the usage of Finnish language for the reason that the client base of these companies is less international and more local. There might be some niche vacancies for part time students who have proven track record with a particular kind of programming language but these are generally far and few. And yes, as a student, you are more likely to land jobs if you have good programming skills rather than an IT business analyst kind of skill set. This leads students to look for part time jobs in other areas but the language issue is persistent. You can get jobs in local eateries, cafeterias and pubs but the employers prefer a working knowledge of Finnish language as part of the employeeäs skill set. That leaves most international students with the option of non-customer interface jobs such as delivering newspapers, advertising flyers and cleaning. I know a number of friends who work on such jobs and juggle work shifts and studies, but the truth is, due to the odd hours of the shifts involved it leaves students tired beyond their limits and often affects life in general and studies in particular. That is not to say it is not possible to work on these jobs - I have friends who have perfected the juggling act and excelled at studies right here in the SIM program. 

Another way to earn some valuable cash as well as experience is by working on a summer term job during the holiday months from June to August. The summer time jobs are available in all sectors starting with agriculture and going on to IT. The application period for most such jobs starts around the end of January and continues up to the end of March. It is a good practice to look up job portals on the websites of all prospective employers for summer trainee or summer intern positions and apply with an honest but impressive application. If you are lucky enough to land a job in the area of your studies, you get to earn some needed experience along with the cash which is always welcome. One thing to bear in mind though, is that most jobs are located around the capital region in Helsinki and relocating is likely to be a major part of the job search. 

Finally, the point about prospects of jobs after we graduate. I would like to answer that from a more SIM specific perspective. And the answer is, I can't really say for sure. I have not yet graduated from the course, and my batch happens to be the first intake of SIM. Once I start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel that is my Masters thesis, I plan to apply for full time jobs and it is only then that I can actually say for sure about the kind of response to expect if you are a recent IT graduate in the Finnish job market. Going by my experience as a summer trainee in a reputed Finnish multinational during the last summer, I can say that international graduates are sought after, but then other factors such as luck and timing play an important part in deciding if and when you land a job after graduation. 

I hope this post gave you some valuable insight about what to expect from the job market here when arriving as a student. Do let me know if you have other queries about life as an international student in Jyväskylä. You can always reach me at my Facebook page.

Image Courtesy: Campusgrids


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