When you think of tech communities your mind probably goes straight to Silicon Valley. But what if we told you there was one closer to home? Switzerland and tech go together like bread and fondue.
For those looking to pursue a career in tech, moving to Switzerland is an appealing prospect. Beautiful views, tasty chocolate, work/life balance, plus a thriving tech community - what’s not to love? But before you pack your bags there are a few things that you need to know about the language, the culture and the job market.
Topping the Global Innovation Index for the last 12 years, Switzerland is the ideal destination for tech workers looking to achieve a work/life balance in beautiful surroundings.
With a highly skilled workforce and plenty of R&D investment it’s no wonder that tech companies are drawn to the country. Dartfish, Logitech, Vidby and Crypto AG are all based in Switzerland and there’s a thriving tech community pushing the boundaries.
Despite favouring their domestic talent there’s been an increase of foreign workers over the years and that trend doesn’t show any sign of changing.
Getting the basics in place
For those thinking about pursuing their tech career in the land of cheese and chocolate there are some basics that you need to know. Both in terms of those tech areas that are in demand but also the practicalities around permission to work in the country.
Securing a job in an in-demand area has a higher success rate for foreign workers in Switzerland. The top 5 tech careers currently in demand are:
IT business analyst
It’s worth taking time to research demand for your area of expertise and if there’s anything you can do to make yourself more attractive to Swiss employers. For example, for developers there’s demand for Java and C# but less so for Ruby or C++. Understanding the market demands will make it easier to secure a new position.
Specialising in a specific area and ensuring your certifications back up your experience will aid your job hunt. Allowing you to target the roles you want and give you an improved chance at securing it over domestic workers.
With a highly skilled workforce and prestigious universities focused on tech, there isn’t high demand for junior positions as a foreigner. But for those with 2+ years of experience there are more opportunities available.
There are 4 official languages in Switzerland: German, French, Italian and Romansh. While it’s not required to speak one of those, it does give you an extra advantage when it comes to job hunting.
Showing that you already possess the ability to converse in one of the official languages, or that you’re committed to learning will help you in your job hunt
Making it happen
You’ve decided to make the move, great! But how do you make it a reality?
Identify what opportunities are available to you and proactively research businesses that you’d love to work for. Once you start to understand the market, you can narrow down your options and start reaching out to them directly
Awareness of local ways of doing things
There are always going to be slight cultural differences when working abroad. Even in your job search it’s key to be aware of what these could be. For instance, the Swiss are keen on personalisation. If you are proactively approaching a business, researching who the right person is and targeting with their title and surname in your communication to them will make a big difference.
Being organised with your certificates, reference letters and CV is also important. Ensuring you have scanned in copies of certificates, degrees and qualifications ready to send off with any job application smooths the process and presents a good first impression.
It’s these little things that will make a difference in the long run.
Searching for a new job abroad can be tricky. Understanding the process, where to look and how to get started can feel daunting. But that’s where recruitment specialists like Source Group International come in. Partnering with forward thinking organisations across a range of industries we’re perfectly positioned to make the process easier. Have a look at our current opportunities across Switzerland.
Or contact our specialist recruitment team in Switzerland for expert advice and guidance.