Fresh graduates – especially highly skilled ones – successfully find work in Switzerland, where almost half of all executive jobs in Switzerland are held by foreigners. The success rate of graduates from Swiss universities in the employment segment is better than that of people who choose to apply from their home country. The salaries in Switzerland are amongst the highest in the world, with at least four weeks’ holiday per year. An added advantage is that there are excellent Swiss social security benefits if you’re out of work, and you’ll enjoy one of the highest qualities of life in the world. However, the labour market is small, competition for jobs is high and if you are from outside the European Union (EU), then only a limited number of management level, well-qualified and specialist employees are admitted into the country to work.

If you desire to work in independent professions like health, teaching, technology, law and social work in Switzerland, you will need to have your foreign qualifications recognised, even if you are from the European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA). If your occupation isn’t regulated, you may still wish to get a ‘level certificate’ that provides Swiss employers with information about how your foreign qualification relates to the Swiss higher education system. You can find out more about the process through the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI).

Academic credentials (not for regulated professions) from some countries are recognised via the Bologna Process for students within the European Union, this allows for the standardization of education across Europe. University qualifications (bachelor’s degrees and above, but not those related to regulated professions) can also be recognised for work purposes through ENIC-NARIC for some countries. For more details on this aspect, visit the link http://www.enic-naric.net/asia-and-the-pacific.aspx. Rivalry for Swiss jobs is fierce and opportunities are more limited for those coming from outside of the EU or EFTA (European Free Trade Association), as there are often allocations for jobs in Switzerland for non-nationals, particularly for highly skilled, well-qualified experts. However, finding a job in Switzerland is possible, including a small selection of jobs in Switzerland for English-speakers, especially in sectors, where there are high shortages of skilled workers. In multicultural Switzerland however, language is often key to finding work in Switzerland.

Despite Switzerland being a small country, it is a nation with a highly skilled workforce (in hi-tech, micro-tech and bio-technology fields) and an important industrial nation, with half of all Swiss export revenue coming from mechanical/electrical engineering and the chemicals sector. It is also one of the world’s major financial centres. So there are jobs for skilled workers in engineering and technology, pharmaceuticals, consulting, banking, insurance and IT, with financial analysts, business analysts and systems analysts in great demand. Engineering, for example, which experiences local shortages, comprises of almost 40 per cent of foreign workers.

The Swiss Parliament passed the Neirynck initiative on June 18, 2010, as an initiative to provide for foreign nationals graduating from a Swiss university-level institution to be on an equal footing with Swiss nationals when it comes to entering the Swiss labor market. To find employment, foreign nationals who have earned a Swiss university-level diploma will be entitled to stay in Switzerland for six more months from the time of completing their education or postgraduate studies. Those who are successful in securing employment will be issued a work permit, provided the prospective position involves an activity of particular scientific or economic importance. For procedural details, please visit https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home/themen/arbeit/nicht-eu_efta-angehoerige/verfahrensablauf.html.

Zurich and Geneva are among the top cities in the world for expatriate salaries, according to this year’s HSBC expat salary survey. The average expatriate can look forward to a pay packet of $206,875 (CHF191, 960) in third-place Zurich and $184,942 in fifth-place Geneva. “Expats ranked Switzerland highly for both financial and personal well-being criteria,” said Dean Blackburn, head of HSBC Expat. “The combination of high salaries and excellent work culture has placed Switzerland at the top of the careers league table.” Please read the report here at https://www.livemint.com/Home-Page/2SM4Zyexs0lG8hWfEIf3gJ/Worlds-highest-paid-expats-toil-in-Switzerland.html.

Switzerland has three main national languages: German-Swiss is the most widely spoken, especially in the centre and areas in the east; French is spoken in the west; and Italian in the south. While English is often spoken in the workplace, having some knowledge of these other languages will give you an advantage in the Swiss job market, as would being able to speak Russian or Mandarin. A report in 2017 showed statistically that foreigners coming to work in Switzerland will find themselves in a German-Swiss working environment.

Most students who come to Switzerland are attracted to STEM disciplines and indeed, schools like ETH Zurich with its Nobel Laureate alumni are teeming with talent from across the globe. Students from India must apply for a D visa, if they have enrolled for a course that lasts longer than 3 months or otherwise for a C visa. Be sure to Schedule the appointment for a visa interview as early as six months prior to study in Switzerland, but no later than ten weeks before your departure. If you apply for a D visa and plan to stay in Switzerland longer than three months, you will have to arrange to get your residence permit from the cantonal migration offices within 14 days after your arrival.

With such idyllic backdrops as the Alps, superb work-life balance as well as being at the epicentre of the world’s largest entities like the UN, IMF, there can be only growth ahead for anyone looking to work in Switzerland.