How is the situation for immigrants 5 years after they took a bachelor or masters degree in Norway?
This report describes immigrants who graduated with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in Norway in 2007 and 2012, and their status five years later. The aim of this report is to study whether it was harder for immigrants to join the labour market, which occupation they had, and whether they obtained the same income level as non-immigrants.
In 2007, 8 per cent of all bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Norway were completed by immigrants. Five years later, 78 per cent of the immigrants were still living in Norway and 88 per cent of them were employed. In 2012, the share of immigrants who took a bachelor’s or master’s degree in Norway, had increased to 10 per cent. In 2017, 76 per cent of the immigrants were still living in Norway and 85 per cent of them were employed. For non-immigrants, the employment rate was higher: In 2012, 93 per cent were employed, and in 2017, 92 per cent were employed. There was hardly any difference in the share of employed men and women, both among immigrants and non-immigrants. For immigrants, the share of employees with a bachelor’s degree was larger than for those with a master’s degree. For non-immigrants it was the opposite – a higher degree provided better opportunities in the labour market.
Five years after graduating, the majority of immigrant and non-immigrant employees with a bachelor’s or master’s degree from 2012 worked as professionals, or technicians and associate professionals. Fifty-nine per cent of the immigrant employees worked as professionals, whereas 24 per cent worked as technicians and associate professionals. More non-immigrants, 63 per cent, worked as professionals, whereas 20 per cent were technicians and associate professionals. The high numbers indicate that education was important in order to achieve relevant employment for most of those with a bachelor’s or master’s degree. More than 60 per cent of immigrant employees from North America, South and Central America, Africa and Europe (except Turkey) worked as professionals. Compared with male immigrant employees, a larger share of female immigrant employees worked as professionals. The share of women working as professionals was larger for non-immigrants than for immigrants.
Seventy-nine per cent of the immigrant employees who completed a bachelor’s or master’s degree in 2012 worked full-time five years later. The share for non-immigrants was slightly larger, with 81 per cent. Eighty-three per cent of the male immigrants and 76 per cent of the female immigrants worked as full-time employees in 2017. It was more common for non-immigrant employees to work full-time. Immigrants from Asia had the largest share of full-time positions among employed immigrants.
The largest group of both immigrants and non-immigrants had an income of between NOK 350 000 and NOK 549 999 in 2012 and 2017, independently from sex and type of degree. Forty per cent of immigrants and 42 per cent of non-immigrants were in this income bracket five years after graduating. Men earned more than women, both among immigrants and non-immigrants. Among employed immigrants, the share who earned more than NOK 550 000 was largest in the group from Asia (with Turkey), with 41 and 33 per cent in 2012 and 2017 respectively. Female immigrants had a larger median income than female non-immigrants.