Job and career in Denmark

Are you looking for a job in Denmark after graduating? Or perhaps you want to get a head start with a student job during your studies?

The University of Copenhagen (UCPH) is more than just education. UCPH wants to secure the future for graduates and believes that studies go hand in hand with applying your knowledge in a job.

Keep in mind that:

  • Most degree programmes offer the opportunity to do an internship and earn credits
  • Internships may result in a career-promoting student job
  • Writing a project or your master’s thesis together with a business often leads to a full-time job after graduation.

The UCPH Job & Project Portal helps bring students and businesses together. Students can also draw upon faculty-based or external talent programmes and services. 

After graduation, you can apply to the immigration services for the  Establishment card, which allows you to stay in Denmark and look for full-time employment. 

Job and Career in Denmark

Are you looking for a job in Denmark after graduating? Or perhaps you want to get a head start with a student job during your studies?

The University of Copenhagen (UCPH) is more than just education. UCPH wants to secure the future for graduates and believes that studies go hand in hand with applying your knowledge in a job.

Keep in mind that:

  • Most degree programmes offer the opportunity to do an internship and earn credits
  • Internships may result in a career-promoting student job
  • Writing a project or your master’s thesis together with a business often leads to a full-time job after graduation.

The UCPH Job & Project Portal helps bring students and businesses together. Students can also draw upon faculty-based or external talent programmes and services. 

After graduation, you can apply to the immigration services for the  Establishment card, which allows you to stay in Denmark and look for full-time employment. 

Man reading book

01 UCPH projects during your studies

Writing master’s thesis and projects together with a company

In Denmark, many students choose early on to focus on their job and career opportunities by writing their master’s thesis or a project assignment in collaboration with a business or an organisation. This gives students the opportunity to learn about life at a workplace and dig into the company's challenges and potentials.

Research shows that collaborating with or working in a business often leads to permanent employment after graduation, which goes for both Danish and international students. The close collaboration may also provide insight and knowledge that benefit other businesses in Denmark. 

Collaboration with private and public companies

You can collaborate with both private and public companies, organisations, NGOs etc. You can ask your lecturers for suggestions or specific ideas on what to write about.

It is your responsibility to find a company, organisation, or NGO to collaborate with. Unless you have received specific suggestions or ideas from your professor or lecturer, your master’s thesis/project assignment must relate to your courses and comply with the academic rules and regulations.

Talk to your lecturer or professor at your faculty or department about your ideas when you are enrolled in a course. Start planning early. 

Internship during your studies

In Denmark, it is popular to do an internship. An internship is a unique opportunity to get experience and develop your skills. In some cases, internships can result in permanent employment. When doing an internship, you can often earn credits as part of your degree programme while also getting the experience of using your skills in the real world before graduating. 
You can look for internships online at UCPH Job & Projects and on Graduateland. You can contact companies, organisations and NGOs yourself or get help from a staff member at your department.

Internships during your studies

In Denmark, it is popular to do an internship. An internship is a unique opportunity to get experience and develop your skills. In some cases, internships can result in permanent employment. .
You can look for internships online at UCPH Job & Projects and on Graduateland. You can contact companies, organisations and NGOs yourself or get help from a staff member at yourdepartment.

02 Finding a student job during your studies in Denmark

Head Start

Head Start aims to help international students in the Greater Copenhagen area to find relevant student jobs during their studies in Denmark. It can be a good idea to get a student job if you want to prepare for a career in Denmark later on.

Head Start has online campaigns and a portal where the goal is to make it easier for qualified international students to find inspiring jobs in Denmark.

03 Learning Danish on campus

UCPH collaborates with the local, publicly funded language school UCplus. As an international student at UCPH, you can sign up for Danish language courses on campus. You can attend at both beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. Learning Danish will improve your chances of getting a job and career in Denmark. 

04 Internal career services at UCPH

Career support at UCPH faculties

UCPH does not have a central career service centre. Many activities are based at faculty or programme level. This means that as a student you will get different information from KUnet (the UCPH intranet) and news depending on what you are studying. You must be enrolled to see offers that are relevant for you.

Two international students are talking about career services at UCPH

05 External career services

Greater Copenhagen Career Program

The Greater Copenhagen Career Program is a free-of-charge six-month mentor and networking programme for international students in their last year of graduate studies. 

The Greater Copenhagen Career Program prepares you for joining a professional Danish working environment through a combination of job-search seminars, a personal career mentor, networking events with Danish professionals and a personal Garuda Profile (personality test).

Most of the activities take place in Business House Copenhagen near Valby Station.​​ 

Young Professionals in Denmark

If you are looking for a free-to-join career development and networking programme for international full-degree students, Young Professionals in Denmark is a good option. The programme is a collaboration between Copenhagen Capacity and UCPH. Find more information about what Copenhagen Capacity is and has to offer.

The programme offers unique career counselling, matchmaking events, company visits, career workshops and network contacts to kickstart your career in Denmark after graduation.

See the Young Professionals in Denmark video below.

Greater Copenhagen Career Portal

Talented young graduates have a good chance of getting a job and career in Greater Copenhagen.

Many companies are looking for international talents. The Greater Copenhagen Career Portal is a job portal where  you can find job openings in Denmark.

You also have the chance to join their talent pool, and you can sign up to get invitations for upcoming events and campaigns.

The portal also includes information about living and working in Denmark.

International Citizen Day

International Citizen Day brings together private organisations, public authorities and local companies for two inspiration days about jobs and careers, social life and housing through talks, debates and activities that are relevant to all internationals who are new in Denmark.

International Citizen Day is arranged by International House, who also offers a wide range of job and career programmes as well as ‘Head Start’ and the ‘Greater Copenhagen Career Program”’ referred to above.  International House caters for all internationals and regularly hosts different events. 

Learn about Young Professionals in Denmark in the video below:

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Work in Denmark

Work in Denmark helps international talents and Danish employers with information, guidance and tools to find each other. Organisations and government ministries also arrange events to match talented, international graduates and employers. Ammar Babar from India is a good example of such a match.

‘Work in Denmark’ offers job advice such as CV writing and workplace culture courses, arranges job fairs and has a news section where you can read about successful internationals along with other useful information.

Copenhagen Capacity - if you want to start your own business

Do you want to establish your own business in Greater Copenhagen? Copenhagen Capacity can guide and assist you - free of charge. They help companies based in Denmark attract international talents. 

Copenhagen Capacity is an organisation that helps international companies, investors and international talent in Greater Copenhagen. Learn about their talent events and one-to-one matchmaking events etc.

06 Staying in Denmark with an Establishment card

Establishment card

Post-study work rights in Denmark

Do you want to get a job and career in Denmark after graduation? An Establishment card allows you to do so – even on a part-time salary. With the Establishment card, you can stay in Denmark for two years after graduation.

You must have completed a Danish bachelor’s, master’s or PhD degree. Furthermore, you must apply within a year after graduation and be able to support yourself on a part-time job (before tax) or a bank deposit of around € 12,500.

Meet Lokapriya Nandan Basavanna from India who got his establishment card after graduating from UCPH.

It is possible to extend the time period of your Establishment card by an additional year if you have obtained a job in a relevant workplace after two years.

Can I bring my family to Denmark?

If you are offered a work and residence permit based on an Establishment card, you can bring your partner and your children (if they are under 18 and still live at home).

Childcare and schools in Denmark

In Denmark, most children between the ages of 0 to 5 are enrolled in day-care centres before they start primary school. Read about childcare facilities in Denmark.

Can I bring my family to Denmark?

If you are offered a work and residence permit based on an Establishment card, you can bring your partner and your children (if they are under 18 and still live at home).

Childcare and schools in Denmark

In Denmark, most children between the ages of 0 to 5 are enrolled in day-care centres before they start primary school. Read about childcare facilities in Denmark.

07 Tips from former international graduates

Searching for a job in Denmark

Finding your first job after graduation can be hard. Find inspiration from what Pamela Wilson from the United States did to find her first job after graduating from UCPH.

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Danish working culture

What is the Danish working culture like, you might ask? Watch the video and hear Pamela Wilson from the United States talk about her experience of working in Denmark.

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08 Networking tips and volunteer work

Networking in Denmark

Networking is important when looking for a job in Denmark. Mainly because many positions in private businesses are not advertised. Instead they are filled through personal contacts. This may be good to bear in mind if you meet someone when doing sports, picking up your children from day-care, attending an event etc. Networking is an important part of job searching, and you should always use the opportunity to talk to others at an event; they could be the path to your first or new job in Denmark.

How to network with companies

It is a good idea to start networking with companies even before you graduate. Watch the video and get great tips from different experts who know a lot about networking and building a career in Denmark.

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Volunteer work in Denmark

Doing volunteer work in Denmark may also expand your network and further develop your skills. You can look for volunteer activities at International House and your municipality. Many organisations post ’leadership demanding’ volunteer jobs at Volunteering.dk. Studenterhuset is another place where you can volunteer and make friends at the same time. 

Meet Andrew who volunteered and made friends at Studenterhuset.

Volunteering is not just a great way to improve your chances of getting a job and career in Denmark. It is also a great way to practice your Danish language skills as some Danes may not be as compelled as your young classmates to speak English in every given situation.

09 Trade unions and unemployment insurance funds

Women looking for and writing information about trade unions and unemployment funds

Academic trade unions

Trade unions in Denmark for academics offer courses, life-long education, resources for finding and changing jobs, mentor/mentee relations etc. Unemployment insurance funds also arrange events on how to land your first job, write good applications and a CV that matches the Danish labour market. They can help you get started with a job and career in Denmark. 

Trade unions advise their members on the rules and opportunities in the labour market and help secure the best possible pay and working conditions for each member of their organisation by negotiating agreements with the employers. 

There are plenty of Danish academic unions to choose from. The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC - Akademikerne) is an umbrella organisation for its member organisations. On their website, you can find the union that matches your academic career. They also run a job bank

Unemployment benefits during your job search

If you are unemployed for a shorter or longer period in Denmark, you may, as a graduate in Denmark, be entitled to unemployment benefits (Your unemployment insurance fund can tell you what you need to know about the  conditions for obtaining unemployment benefits.  (“dagpenge” in Danish). 

Unemployment funds, along with unions, are great sources of help to finding a job. They offer online and in-person events, online guidance and much more.