To view Europe’s tech scene, as a homogenous, singular entity would be misleading.
It is a network of separate, distinct, and highly dynamic tech hubs, as vibrant and diverse as the continent itself, located from Lisbon to Riga, and Stockholm to Milan.
Many of these hubs play host to global behemoths such as Salesforce, Google, and Apple alongside some of the most innovative and fastest-growing start-ups on the planet.
Despite fears of a downturn following the UK’s exit from the European Union, London remains the continent’s undisputed tech hub.
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The city continues to breed new unicorns by the dozen and, according to consulting firm RSM, more than 18,000 new tech firms will start up there in 2021, an increase of 94 per cent on the 2020 level.
Europe’s second city when it comes to tech is Berlin. Some say it is on course to challenge London and New York for growth and scale.
The city’s deep pool of talent, relatively low living costs, and proximity to major industrial centres have made it a magnet for tech entrepreneurs, with local tech sector guide Berlin Startup Map now estimating that the number of tech start-ups in the city has topped 4,500.
Coming in third is, surprising for some, Paris. More famous for haute cuisine and bureaucracy, the City of Light may not have struck many people as an ideal location for new tech enterprises, but massive investment by the French government in recent years has changed that perception. Innovation thrives here.
According to enterprise promotion agency Choose Paris Region, the first fortnight of 2022 saw the birth of three unicorns in the region, more than any other country worldwide.
Furthermore, the Paris tech hub now hosts more than 8,000 start-ups along with the world’s largest start-up campus, Station F.
Exceptional perks and benefits
Those considering a tech job in Europe can look forward to some quite exceptional perks and benefits along with very good salaries.
The first thing to remember, however, is that these do not bear direct comparisons with those enjoyed by tech employees in the US. And there are some marked regional variances as well.
Europe’s system of socialised healthcare means that many medical benefits are merely top-ups to already very good state systems.
The same applies to pensions in many European countries, and employees also enjoy very statutory rights to holidays, parental leave, sick leave, and other benefits.
This makes the perks all the more valuable, and you don’t have to work for the tech giants to enjoy them.
Amsterdam-headquartered CLIQ Digital is a leading digital lifestyle company that provides consumers around the world with streaming entertainment services. The firm is currently hiring for several positions including a back-end developer role, based in Paris.
Along with a salary of up to €60,000, the company offers a teleworking policy which allows employees to work remotely two days a week; subsidised meals; a contribution towards transport costs; and a 50 per cent contribution to private insurance.
Among the benefits offered by German company Hero Software are a company pension scheme, company health insurance, flexible working hours, free and discounted meals and drinks, free massages, and guaranteed no work on weekends.
And flexibility does mean flexibility: employees can decide where and how they want to work, whether that is in Germany, Portugal or anywhere else that suits them.
The company has several positions available at present including a lead full-stack engineer at a salary of €60,000 to €75,000.
Remote working, company creche, flexible hours
At the other end of the spectrum, there is SAP, a true global giant with 10,000 employees. It offers flexible working hours and work from home arrangements, a company-funded pension plan with employer contributions of up to 12 per cent, health insurance, free meals and snacks, a best-in-class employee share ownership scheme, mental health supports, cancer screening, financial wellness enablement sessions, and on-site fitness centres and activity classes.
French entertainment company Ankama designs and develops massively multiplayer online role-playing games. The company is currently hiring a back-end developer at a salary of €30,000 to €35,000 a year, which may sound low, but it is located outside of Paris where the cost of living is much cheaper.
The add-on perks make a big difference as well. These include housing assistance, a company crèche, an employee savings scheme, flexible hours, transport to work assistance, and subsidised meals.
Based in Böblingen and Wolfsburg, Germany, Xtronic supports leading manufacturers and suppliers with innovative and customer-specific IT solutions. Its extensive range of employee benefits includes flexible and remote working, international health insurance, and an employer-funded pension.
In addition, employees get to participate in the Xtronic Academy, a tailor-made platform for individual training and career development.
Employees put together their training courses and coordinate them with a mentor assigned by the company. There are several opportunities available at the moment, including a cloud data engineer role.