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International IT graduates choose to stay and work in Greater Aarhus

27. August
8 out of 12 international Computer Science graduates from Aarhus University want to stay in Denmark and most of them have already secured their first full-time job.

Just a few months ago 12 international students graduated from the MSc in Computer Science at Aarhus University. Some of them had already secured their first full-time job before graduating and others were in the process. 8 of them knew they wanted to stay in Denmark to further their career in the IT field.

Why is that? And why is this important for Danish businesses?

Attraction and retainment help the shortage of IT talents in Denmark

The great shortage of IT specialists in Denmark is one of the reasons why we at Destination AARhus focus actively on initiatives, that should attract and retain more international students since the Danish candidates cannot cover the need. Moreover, they bring new and relevant knowledge with them, that companies benefit from.

According to Martin Stampe, Chief Data and Analytics Technology Officer at Danske Bank, the international students contribute to a diverse workplace bringing in new perspectives and experiences: “In Danske Bank, we believe that a diverse and inclusive workplace forms the basis for better decision making and ultimately makes us a better bank.”

Rikke Nielsen, International Director at Aarhus University, adds that the students’ cultural background and market knowledge also give the Danish companies some extra value in addition to the direct academic competencies that they have acquired through their studies.

The social and long-term perspectives are essential when recruiting

Regarding the big shortage of labor within the IT field, Aarhus University sees an advantage for both the industry and the students in recruiting new IT talents already as students: “Because, this gives the students a network and a better knowledge about the Danish society, culture and the Danish labor market even before graduating”, says Rikke Nielsen.

Aarhus University communicates actively with the international students throughout their studies and helps them meet potential employers. About retaining them, Rikke Nielsen adds, that they find it both important to focus on social activities, well-being and career programs, so the students get the best study time possible and want to stay and kickstart their career in Denmark.

Danske Bank also recognizes the importance of both the social and long-term perspectives when recruiting. Here they: “Hire students to invest in the future”, states Martin Stampe. He continues by saying that: “The international students are competent and motivated colleagues, which is why we hire with the hope of being able to offer a full-time position after they graduate. It is our experience that a strong social network is the most important factor. That is why we facilitate activities where the students can create a great network with colleagues, which gives   them a good connection to both Danske Bank and Denmark.” In addition, he emphasizes that Danske Bank benefits from the cooperation with Aarhus University and Destination AARhus because they generally are adept at attracting competent students from abroad.

The question of staying after graduation was an easy "yes"

Mihai Mihalache and Iulian Hojda from Romania and Jana Puschmann from Germany agree that their welcoming, study time, and student jobs as developers at Danske Bank, Grundfos, and Aarhus University have had a major impact on both their professional development, networking skills, and future career.

About the importance of their student job, Iulian Hojda says: “Even working for only two days per week, you still learn new things and improve. It counts as experience in the field of study, and IT companies value it.”  While Jana Puschmann states: ”I was positively surprised how much your opinion is valued. You really feel that you are part of the team.”  In connection, the three graduates see a big advantage in their opportunity to continue working full-time in the same company as their student job, where they are still employed today.

Moreover, they all highlight, that moving to Denmark has improved their future career because Greater Aarhus is full of job opportunities, why the question of staying after graduation was an easy "yes". Additionally, they underline the impact the events organized by Destination AARhus have had on their journeys. Here Mihai Mihalache states: “The event organized in May 2019 in collaboration with the University helped me land the job that I was so dependent on. Having some emails where to send my CV helped me get the interview for my current job. The events have had the most beneficial impact that I could have wished for.”

Every year Destination AARhus host in collaboration with Aarhus University and several of the largest Danish companies a planned trip to Aarhus before study start, Speed Networking, a CV workshop, and graduation dinner.

Hearing the abovementioned from three of the international graduates and looking at the number of the ones who have chosen to stay in Denmark, shows that our initiatives have had an impact. And we cannot wait to continue our work when welcoming the new 20+ international students at Computer Science on 27th August which is record despite Covid-19.