It’s a good time to work in IT and software in Germany. Why? In line with opening the new Intetics office in Düsseldorf , here is a list of top 7 reasons for why it’s a great time to invest in the German ICT and software industries.
What else would you add?
1. Excellent economy and positive business environment
Germany has a growing economy that provides a positive business environment. As Europe’s largest market, it contains the best quality infrastructure in Europe, 3% GDP growth and an expanding economy. It boasts a highly productive workforce, with 80% of German labor force possessing vocational or higher degree training. In addition, the German economy provides an excellent background for IT and software development industries. The ICT & Software industry account for 3.8% of the national GDP and receive 18% of the country’s FDI (about 513 billion euro in 2011). With all these indicators, the German market ranks as the 4th largest IT market in the world.
2. Abundance of Innovation and industry-leading companies
Not only does Germany have a dynamic market, but it also manages to attract international companies and inspire innovation. There are about 55,000 foreign companies that operate in Germany. The foreign companies are mostly from US, but 57% come from Eastern Europe. Germany is also Europe’s innovation leader with over 13,000 patent registrations annually, it ranks 8th out of 139 countries for innovation (according to World’s Economic Forum). It is also the home of the most research-intensive and most high-tech industries, followed by Japan, rest of EU and the US. Rest assured that amidst all of this innovation, the ICT & Software industry is not left behind. Germany established 34 ICT & IT Technology parks and centers that help transfer technology knowledge and information. Four of these IT tech parks are (coincidentally?) only an hour drive from the new Intetics office in Düsseldorf.
3. Shortage of skilled workers, especially in software development
“War on talent” or Tech-Talent Shortage…whatever you call it, according to a recent LinkedIn & Bitkom study, about half of German companies are facing labor shortage. Yet to keep up with innovations Germany needs a lot of talent. The average global labor shortage rate is about 35%, and Germany has been fluctuating between labor shortages of 35%-42% for the past 3 years. Adding to the problem is the fact that IT positions are globally 7th most difficult jobs to fill, due to shortage of qualified candidates. This is bad news for Germany as the 4th largest IT market, because demand for engineers and other IT and software will remain high. So high, in fact, that the LinkedIn & Bitkom study claimed that 75% of large companies (over 500 people) complain of labor shortages, and as a result look for IT and software talent elsewhere, hiring qualified specialists abroad. Good thing that it is easy to find qualified experts elsewhere in Europe – especially in Eastern European countries.
4. Mobile and internet technologies are constantly expanding
The most obvious reason why the demand for IT professionals is unlikely to diminish any time soon is the growing demand for mobile and internet technologies. Germany is no exception. Sixty percent of its population claim to have internet enabled phones and 40% have smart phones. The German centralized service provider, Die Bundesnetsagentur, says that it manages over 113.5mill subscriptions (for a population of 80.5 million)…equivalent to 141% of population. With that many people on the web, Internet technologies will remain in high demand in the near future.
5. Center of European business, exhibitions and fairs
Just as Germany is at the center of innovation, it is also the center for trade shows and international conferences. About two thirds of the world’s leading trade fairs take place in Germany. About 150 major international events are held each year, attracting over 170,000 exhibitors and 9-10 million visitors. Every major city has its own conference center. The Messe Düsseldorf claims it is at the “Basis for Business” and it is indeed one of the leading export platforms in the world. The Düsseldorf conference center welcomes about 50 trade shows annually and other independently organized events, from which 23 are globally recognized trade shows.
6. People speak German…and English…and Russian and French
Like many other European countries, German children learn to speak a foreign language at the young age of 8 or 9 years. This creates an excellent environment for business and communication. Usually, German children learn English as their second language, but many additionally learn French, Latin, Russian, Spanish, Dutch and Polish, among others. In a 2006 survey 25% German respondents claimed to speak another language.
7. You are in the middle of everything
From any point in Germany, the rest of Europe is reachable within 3 hours by air or 24 hours by road. Half of the European population lives within 500 km of Germany’s borders. You are literally in the middle of everything: in the middle of innovation, in the middle of Europe, and in the middle of one of the most bustling economies in the world.
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