Green forests, sparkling lakes, minimalist design, cosy evenings and hearty food - your idea of Sweden might not conjure up images of start-ups, computers and coding, but the tech scene in the country is booming, and if it’s not on your career plan, it should be.
Sweden has fast become Europe’s technology hotspot and, with more jobs than homegrown talent, is crying out for IT candidates from across the continent and beyond. With attractive perks, endless job opportunities and an enviable work-life balance, Sweden is tempting for anyone’s IT career, and with Evolution covering the Nordic region, we’ve gathered our top reasons for why you should be too.
Booming IT industry
Technology is huge in Sweden. In fact, Sweden ranks as the second most innovative country in the world. Silicon Valley aside, Stockholm produces the highest number of unicorns per capita, with globally successful companies including Spotify, Skype, Klarna, King and Minecraft.
This boom is fuelling investment, attracting entrepreneurs and leading to success that far outweighs other countries. The key to remaining internationally competitive is Sweden’s reliance on incoming skills from across the globe, including yours, offering an unmissable opportunity to work with the latest technology, largest companies and rising stars.
If you’re searching for a more meaningful employment experience, where you’re making a real impact, look no further. Start-ups in Sweden succeed more often and for longer than any other country. Five of the top ten fastest growing companies in Europe are from Sweden and investment, government support and knowledge sharing are common - allowing everyone to succeed.
Stockholm itself ranks second in the world for scale-ups and third for start-ups. It’s easy for small companies to compete with bigger ones and with around 8000 start-ups in Stockholm, it’s easy to find yourself swimming among the success, with your IT skills being a huge helping factor.
Those considering the move to Sweden won’t be disappointed by the variety of industries crying out for IT specialists. Key drivers for development in Sweden’s IT industry include:
- Fast and flexible delivery (cloud, agile working etc.)
- Cybersecurity and information security
- User experience
- Automation, IoT, AI, machine learning
- Electronic commerce
- AR, VR, 3D printing, voice technology, wearable tech
- Data centres (specifically the drive to improve environmental credentials)
If you’re after an industry change or want to further your experience in your current sector, Sweden is a highly attractive opportunity.
Skills in demand
Sweden’s modest population but huge IT reach makes the availability of IT skills a serious issue for the country. A shortage of 70,000 IT candidates by 2022 is feared, pushing the county to look for talent on the outside.
Hard IT skills in demand include:
- Systems architecture
- Advanced data analysis
Soft skills are also highly sought after, including:
- Business skills
- Project management
- Process development
But, a demand for skills isn’t all that’s on offer. The Swedes are known for their collaboration, critical thinking and independent work - something that IT candidates making the move will be sure to pick up and develop during their stay.
Sparking salaries and beautiful benefits
With demand, comes pay. While the cost of living is slightly higher than average, that will be more than compensated for by cheap rent (on average 15% cheaper) and national average salaries of €49645.11 per year, and average software developer salaries at €44405.62.
But beyond the generous pay, IT candidates will experience working in one of the most inclusive and diverse workforces in the world, where casual dress is a standard and hierarchy is flat, meaning decision making and collaboration with even the highest of management happens all the time.
We couldn’t write about the benefits of taking your IT career to Sweden without mentioning the work-life balance on offer. Sweden has one of the best work-life standards in Europe, with the statutory maximum working week 40 hours and annual leave that averages 33 days per year.
The country ranks above average in all life aspects, has one of the happiest populations and offers an abundance of free-time activities including hiking, a thriving music scene, relaxed coffee breaks, mouth-watering delicacies and natural wonders such as the northern lights. What’s not to love?
If you’re tempted by everything that Sweden has on offer for the next stage in your IT career, contact one of our specialist recruitment consultants to understand when and how you can make the jump to a life worth living.