Building a Career

Studying in Norway is a good way of gaining a foothold in the job market – especially in Norway and in the Nordic region.

For international student

Norwegian students often supplement their student loan with a part-time job, and then look for relevant work experience before they start working. You are expected to have work experience when you finish your studies.

As a EU/EEA national you are entitled to work, study and live in Norway. All EU/EEA nationals who are staying in Norway for more than three months must register.

If you are not a EU/EAA national you must apply for a study permit. If you are granted a study permit, you can also work up to 20 hours a week while you are studying and full-time during holidays. 
Be aware that working more than the 20 hours could have serious consequences: There are cases where international students have been expelled from the country for not following these rules.

International students may stay in Norway for until one year after graduating from a Norwegian university or university college in order to look for work. Beware that you must apply for residence permit as a job seeker before your current permit expires and after completing your degree. Read more about residence permit for job seeking purposes for international students here.  


In addition to working in a safe and attractive job market with low unemployment and a progressive and modern working environment, you also gain access to a number of benefits, including parental leave, sickness benefits, employment protection, as well as high salaries.

Norwegians pride themselves on having an innovative workplace; we believe that flat organisations, a competent workforce and egalitarian values stimulate innovation.

The business sector is competitive, and ranks among the best on the World Competitiveness Scoreboard. It is easy to do business in Norway; the country is among the top 10 of 180 countries on the Ease of Doing Business ranking.

Main Industries

Norway has abundant hydropower, world-leading industries, high productivity and a strong economy. Today, Norway is a modern country geared towards technology, innovation and the urge to further develop a knowledge-based society. The country also relies on the oil & gas industry, fisheries and traditional industrial sectors. There is a highly developed system of industrial clusters with close cooperation between the industry and research. Top-class research, groundbreaking innovations and nearness to the ocean contribute to world-class marine, maritime and subsea industries.

Business Culture

Compared to many other nations, the Norwegian labour market is characterised by informality, both in terms of conversation and dress code.


As a student you will experience having a friendly relationship with your professor, and this carries over into the workplace, where you may well have lunch with your boss.

To be on time, respectful and polite and follow the dress codes for different occupations are the most important codes in the business culture.

In Norway we have relatively short formal working days: 7.5 hours per day and 37.5 hours per week is the norm. Norwegians work hard when they are at work. We rely on being able to work flexible hours and work from home from time to time. However, evenings and weekends are mostly reserved for friends and family: fritid, or free time, is important to Norwegians.

The Norwegian labour market offers good opportunities for social mobility. An increasing number of women take on management positions, and there are policies in place that encourage and facilitate gender balance. It is, for instance, not controversial to work in the private sector and take parental leave.

Innovation, Start-Ups and Technology

In Norway you can do business in one of the world's most innovative and digitalised countries. We have a relatively new, but vibrant start-up community, including numerous technology start-ups. The government invests in innovation to boost the business and industry sector. Innovation Norway is the Norwegian Government's most important instrument for innovation and development in Norwegian businesses and industry, supporting companies in developing their competitive advantage and enhancing innovation. Promising start-ups with growth ambitions and an innovative business concept that represents something new and significant in the market have good chances of getting funding

Norway is a pioneer in renewable energy and environmental technology. The nation has set ambitious goals for more sustainable energy use. Renewable energy and clean technology in general, as well as medical and biotechnology represent interesting emerging industries.