- Smaller European cities are overtaking capitals when it comes to tech hiring growth, new data shows.
- These cities start from a smaller base, but the growth comes amid the explosion in remote work.
- We pulled out the seven fastest-growing European cities in terms of job postings.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
During the pandemic, workers flocked from large cities to suburban and countryside locations.
The trend, fueled by a shift to remote work, has called into question whether businesses need to be based in global hubs.
Tech and innovation hubs are often capitals: London, Paris, Berlin, Stockholm, and Amsterdam ranked as the top five European cities for venture-capital investment between 2015 and 2020, Tech Nation reported.
But smaller cities are increasingly looking to attract techies.
The CompTIA Tech Workforce Hiring Trends and Analysis report analyzed nearly 900,000 tech jobs from employers across 10 European markets. It found that the fastest-growing cities in terms of job postings are smaller locations.
There are some caveats, said Tim Herbert, CompTIA’s research executive vice president.
Not every posting translates to a new job, as employers may change plans, post available roles multiple times, or decide to hire internally.
And while some smaller cities have overtaken larger hubs in terms of percentage growth, they are starting from a much smaller base, as evidenced by the numbers below. Capital cities and hubs still lead in terms of total jobs listed.
“While not the highest percentage growth rates for their country, Brussels, Prague, Rome, Amsterdam, Warsaw, and Lisbon all experienced significant growth in hiring demand during Q1 versus the previous quarter,” Herbert said. “On a numeric basis, most had much higher counts of new job postings for technology positions relative to smaller metro areas that were starting from a much lower base.”
But the report gave an indication of future breakout cities.
“There could be an element of remote work in the figures,” Herbert added. “This has been a trend in the US market, where a number of smaller or midsize US cities experienced higher rates of hiring activity for tech professionals due to more employers allowing remote work.”
Many of the emerging hot spots are near colleges and universities with a range of computing courses, so cities have a wealth of newly qualified talent each year. Some cities also have dedicated organizations tasked with supporting businesses and startups.
Demand for well-rounded software developers dominates job listings across the 10 countries analyzed, which the report said was driven by businesses that are recovering from the pandemic and continuing to pursue digital transformation. This marks a shift in tech recruitment where “soft skills are as important as technical skills,” the report said.
The list below shows the locations with the largest growth rates for jobs in tech.
1. Ave, Portugal
Ave’s economic activity is spread across its eight municipalities, with CIM do Ave running support programs to nurture entrepreneurship. Its most recent program focuses on the industrial and tourism sectors.
Change in advertised tech jobs: Up 201%
Number of advertised jobs: 424
2. Enschede, Overijssel Province, Netherlands
Enschede is home to the University of Twente, a hub for innovation that supports about 50 student enterprises each year and minted successful startups such as the travel site Booking.com.
Change in advertised tech jobs: Up 116%
Number of advertised jobs: 2,590
3. Tejo, Portugal
Despite being better known for its wine, this intermunicipal community is home to the business-innovation center Startup Santarém. The center has incubated companies such as ArqueoScallabis, an archaeology and heritage-management company, and Optimal Satellite, a space and transport product engineer.
Change in advertised tech jobs: Up 74%
Number of advertised jobs: 437
4. Plzen, Czech Republic
Plzen is home to a host of universities and colleges, including the University of West Bohemia, which offers a range of programs – such as geomatics, IT, and cybernetics – and has a dedicated New Technologies Research Centre. Actijoy, an app for tracking a pet dog’s water intake and activity, is one of Plzen’s startups.
Change in advertised tech jobs: Up 64%
Number of advertised jobs: 225
5. Milan, Italy
Amazon, IBM, and the Italian Stock Exchange have offices in Milan, which is known for its commerce and finance, as well as its design and culture. The investment platform Moneyfarm and the grocery-delivery company Macai are two of the city’s well-known startups.
Change in advertised tech jobs: Up 61%
Number of advertised jobs: 8,428
6. Constanta, Romania
Constanta is a bustling economic and cultural spot that’s rich in history. The software company Productlead and the parental-control-software firm RoSoft are among the startups.
Change in advertised tech jobs: Up 54%
Number of advertised jobs: 2,000
7. Rome, Italy
Rome is the only European capital analyzed where job opportunities grew by over 50%, and it’s no surprise: Accenture, Deloitte, KPMG, EY, and SAP all having offices in the city. Roma Startup, which is tasked with establishing Rome as the Italian hub for business, found that there are 1,439 startups, 115 investors, 14 accelerators, and 172 corporates in the city.
Change in advertised tech jobs: Up 51%
Number of advertised jobs: 4,724