This paper analyzes the career paths of foreign students in Sweden, after their graduation. Matching individual data on foreign students -and their university career- with information about their employers in Sweden over the period 2001-2015 we analyze which are the type of sectors in which they start their career. We propose that foreign students are attracted by firms operating in sectors employing a higher level of knowledge codification and in expanding sectors with a higher growth of demand for skilled workers. Our findings indicate that foreign graduates are more likely than Swedish ones to work in high-tech sectors, both in manufacturing and services and in expanding industries, in the services. Foreign students from more culturally distant locations are especially more likely to work in high-tech or expanding sectors. The higher likelihood to work in high tech sectors is mostly attributable to STEM foreign students.
Claudio Fassio is associate professor at the Sten K. Johnson Centre for Entrepreneurship, Department of Business Administration. He is also affiliated to the research centre CIRCLE, University of Lund, and research affiliate at BRICK (Bureau of Research on Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge), Collegio Carlo Alberto, Turin, Italy. Claudio’s research interests include the interplay of innovation and internationalization strategies of companies, the importance of international talents for the innovative performances of firms and the interaction between academic researchers and industrial inventors. His work has been published in journals such as Research Policy, the Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Industrial and Corporate Change, R&D Management, Industry and Innovation, The Journal of Technology Transfer.