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IT jobs in Switzerland

IT jobs in Switzerland

Switzerland is located in central Europe sharing borders with Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, Italy and France. The capital city is Berne and other major cities include Zurich, Basel, Geneva, and Lausanne.

Switzerland is generally associated with prosperous banking, spectacular landscapes, generous salaries and delicious chocolate! Switzerland however is also known be one of the most expensive countries in the world to live.

Switzerland is comprised of 26 cantons (country subdivisions). Out of the 26 cantons that make up Switzerland, the majority are monolingual in German; a few are French-speaking: Geneva, Jura, Neuchâtel and Vaud; and some cantons are bilingual: Bern, Fribourg and Valais (both French and German are spoken). Italian is also spoken in Ticino and four southern valleys of Canton Graubünden.

In addition English is also widely spoken in Switzerland with some 15% of the country’s workforce choosing to speak English at work. For those considering working in Switzerland it is recommended that the person can speak the official language of the canton they would be working in.

In 2002, the bilateral agreement on the free movement of persons came into force. This agreement gave EU nationals the following rights:

  • to occupational and geographical mobility in Switzerland
  • to equality of working conditions, social security, etc

To search and apply for IT jobs in Switzerland click here

Working practices

Due to the high salaries Switzerland has become a hotspot destination for both permanent IT professionals and IT contractors from around the world. The main industries in Switzerland revolve around the financial sector resulting in a number of opportunities for financial analysts and those with specialist financial IT skills. However there is a lack of IT specialists, since local institutes and universities do not produce enough qualified graduates to satisfy the increasing demand for IT labour. The most common IT skills in demand in Switzerland include SAP, Oracle and Java.

Traditionally the Swiss work long hours and due to their close tie with Germany their attitude towards management revolves around hierarchy, efficiency and productivity. For some expatriates this style of management may appear as unfriendliness but this is often not the case.

Applying for Jobs

Applying for IT jobs in Switzerland requires a CV and covering letter. As with all job applications it is important to tailor your CV and covering letter to each specific job. Swiss employers attach great importance to experience so it is essential to highlight all relevant work experience be it through voluntary or paid work. Depending upon the canton in which the employer is based it may sometimes be advantageous to send your CV and covering letter in both English and the official language of that canton. This however is not essential.

Living in Switzerland

Switzerland, as already mentioned, is one of the most expensive places in the world to live but the high salaries enjoyed by those in Switzerland take this cost of living into account.

Housing is expensive, and most people live in rented accommodation. Switzerland is estimated to have one the lowest rates of owner occupiers in Europe. Renting a small, one-bedroom flat in Switzerland is likely to cost CHF 600 per month. Rental prices are significantly higher in cantons such as Basel, Geneva and Zurich, since demand far exceeds what is available.

Finding an IT job in Switzerland

The shortage of specialist IT skills in Switzerland has caused a demand for IT professionals with knowledge of specialist skills such as SAP, Oracle and Java. Switerland’s main industries revolve around the financial sector and as such there is also a demand for financial analysts, business analysts and systems analysts.