How to travel Europe with your IT career
Move over America! The European tech scene is emerging, innovating and set to take over. For those IT candidates eager to step away from the norm and have an enviable tech career that travels the continent, now is the time to make the change.
At Evolution, we place candidates across Europe daily and have the insight, knowledge and skills to help take your career international too. So, grab your passport, get out the suitcase and make a note of these top tips on travelling Europe with your career.
Research the skills in demand
When deciding to take your IT career to Europe, research is the difference between packing your passport or stashing it away in the drawer. Europe is suffering a significant tech-skill shortage, with 63% of employers feeling the pinch, but the IT candidates and skills in demand vary from country to country. At Evolution, the key European cries for help we're seeing include:
- Germany - Automotive tech, Fintech and software development
- Netherlands - Artificial intelligence, software engineers, Pega engineers, project leads
- Sweden – Machine learning, AI, IT developers, testers, process engineering
- Poland - Software development, cybersecurity
- Denmark - Engineering, software development
Understand the culture
A mid-morning coffee in Sweden, a lunch-time pint in Germany or cycle home in the Netherlands - cultures, traditions and working practices differ across the continent, and it’s important to understand what you’d love and what you really wouldn’t love. Start by noting whether you want:
- An established tech hotspot or an emerging tech hotspot
- A structured or flat hierarchy
- A bustling city or quieter pace of life
- Structure or freedom
- Lots of sunshine or prolonged winters
Once you know what you want, then you can narrow down the countries that your IT career could take you to.
Be clear on what you value
Value the latest tools and technology? Head to the Netherlands. Yearning for above-average annual leave? Pack for Sweden. Love innovation? Think about Germany. Each country offers its own perks and benefits - both within and outside the workplace. Be honest about what matters to you and what you can compromise on.
A useful tool we recommend to Evolution candidates is a cost of living calculator, such as the one here, to understand if you can afford the lifestyle you want to lead in your chosen office location.
Polish your CV
No matter which European tech hub you’re aiming for, an up-to-date, informative and engaging CV is crucial. Outline significant achievements in your previous roles and tailor it per county to highlight the IT and soft-skills in demand there. And, ensure that it appeals to techies and non-techies alike - you don’t know who will be reading it.
Read our top CV tips here.
Brush up on your skills
We’re not talking IT skills here (although that’s important too). Soft skills are valued across the IT industry but are significantly lacking in some European countries. Developing and highlighting your business-savvy skills such as project management, team working, problem-solving and communication will make you a highly competitive candidate. And, speaking of communication skills, while English is the business language of choice across Europe, a willingness to learn the basics of the local language (especially for interviews) will impress beyond belief.
Thinking about taking your IT career into a different country can be nerve-wracking, but there’s plenty to be excited about too.
- Tech conferences happen in all major European cities, gathering the top talent for debates, insights and knowledge-sharing. Fancy attending Digital Media Europe or The Next Web? These could be right on your doorstep.
- Continued professional development is readily available in the way of hackathons, meetups and professional education programmes.
- Global names and up-and-coming start-ups flood the continent, offering opportunities to get involved in something meaningful and exciting.
- Attractive salaries are on offer, reflecting the tech skills shortage, and perks include enviable annual leave, working hours and laid-back cultures.
- Enjoying hiking? Love the cafe scene? Or how about wine tasting or brewery visiting? There are plenty of downtime activities to get excited about too.
Speak to an expert
Taking your IT career to Europe is a huge decision, with an overwhelming amount of information out there to find, understand and put into practice. Visas, taxes, average salaries, skills, vacancies, contracts - it’s confusing, and it’s best to speak to someone in the know.
At Evolution we’re highly experienced in placing IT job seekers across Europe, understanding what skills are in demand and how you can go about achieving your dream position.
Contact us today to kick-start your international career.