Famed for its beautiful fjords, Norway is a popular tourist destination—but jobs in Norway have much more to offer, and the country also boasts an impressive business landscape. According to data from the OECD, Norway has the second highest productivity level in the world. This, along with strong wage growth and a good social safety net, makes it an enticing place to launch a career.
For Amy Fivis and Pham Thu Ha, Norway has also proved an ideal study destination. Although Amy was born in China and raised in the US, and Ha's home country is Vietnam, both selected BI Norwegian Business School (BI) in Oslo for their Master's program.
BI, which was recently ranked at the best business school in Norway by the Financial Times, draws students from 95 countries, and helps them break into Norway’s attractive business landscape. 72% of BI’s international students secure work in Norway after they graduate.
Here are three reasons to follow in their footsteps and consider jobs in Norway:
1. A growing jobs market
Norway’s steadily growing economy and jobs market makes it an attractive place to live and work.
The country’s GDP has been steadily climbing since 2009, and growth industries like renewable energy and health tech are creating ample job opportunities.
Norwegian business schools like BI are well placed to help international students tap into these growth industries, Amy reflects.
“Opportunities have been knocking at my door from the start,” she comments.
“There are webinars with a lot of leading companies in Norway and greater Europe, as well as digital career fairs, and exclusive internship opportunities fostered through BI’s corporate partnerships.”
A current first year student, Amy set out on the MSc in Leadership and Organizational Psychology at BI with the goal of launching a career in human resources.
“I was toying with the idea of business school, and my brother and sister in law live in Norway. I joked that I would be their au pair while I studied,” she explains with a laugh.
What began as a joke became reality when she visited BI, and found herself drawn to the friendly atmosphere and academic prestige.
In her second year of the program, Amy plans to explore Norway’s jobs maket further through an internship. Applying her developing skills to a real business environment will be a great learning opportunity.
2. High quality of life
Norway consistently ranks as one of the best countries in the world when it comes to living standard metrics—and for good reason.
Residents in the country enjoy affordable subsidized healthcare, beautiful scenery to explore, and a good work-life balance. According to a survey by InterNations, Norway has the third best work-life balance in the world.
For Ha, this culture made Norway stand out not just as a study destination, but as a permanent new home. She came to BI with the goal of building a life in Norway, while getting the education she needed for a career in change management.
“In 2017 I was thinking a lot about happiness, and Norway was ranked as the happiest country in the world,” she recalls. “I felt I could relate to the country’s values of equality, transparent leadership, and work-life balance.”
The MSc in business at BI helped her build the experience and connections needed for a successful career in Norway.
The career service helped her prepare for interviews, and she connected with her current company—Norwegian energy supplier, Equinor—through a BI networking event.
“I’m undertaking the people and organization graduate program,” Ha explains. “In my current rotation, I’m doing strategy and change.
“What I like about the work culture in Norway is the balance. The work-life balance is satisfying, and my work relationships are a good mix of personal and professional.”
3. Commitment to sustainability
Environmental sustainability is a top priority for government and business in Norway, making it an appealingly green place to work.
Since 2016, 98% of Norway’s energy came from renewable sources, thanks to investment in hydroelectric and wind power. The country also hosts 11 centers for renewable energy research, which work closely with local businesses to help them meet sustainability goals.
To help newcomers find firm footing in this landscape, top Norwegian schools like BI integrate sustainability issues into their curriculum.
For Amy, developing a framework for understanding environmental, social and governance issues has been a highlight of her program.
“The ethics and sustainability module has been fascinating,” she says. “One of our professors developed a ‘navigation wheel’ tool that helps you to look critically at business practices and ask the right ethical questions.”
“Outdoor activities are a big part of Norwegian life,” Ha adds. This passion for the natural world has encouraged her to try new hobbies like hiking.
“For international students hoping to work in Norway, my advice would be you have to get out of your comfort zone to get the most out of the experience,” she reflects.
“Once you make those connections, Norway can offer you a good job—and a good life.”