Why relocating to Amsterdam could be a great move for your tech career

Why relocating to Amsterdam could be a great move for your tech career

With digital transformation sweeping across industries around the world, there is no shortage of burgeoning tech hubs where IT pros can build a great career today. But few come close to offering such an enviable quality of life as Amsterdam.

The Netherlands’ capital has been attracting expats for a long time—drawn to the city by its desirable work-life balance, abundant cultural diversity, and a perfect mix of laid-back charm and urban conveniences. Now, the global tech community is beginning to wise up to everything Amsterdam has to offer.

Recently crowned the best European tech city to work in, there’s certainly no shortage of options for tech professionals thinking about putting down roots in Amsterdam. The city is home to almost 600 international tech companies (170 of those being company HQs) and also hosts a thriving startup scene.

A burgeoning tech sector

Tech jobs make up around 13 percent of Amsterdam’s total job market. More than 10.000 new roles have been created since 2016, and home-grown tech startups and scale-ups are the principle driving force behind the city’s 13 percent annual job growth.

This growth is creating heated demand for tech specialists in the region, with an estimated 26 job roles on offer for every one of Amsterdam’s junior tech workers. This cavernous skills gap presents a tremendous opportunity for international professionals who are looking for a healthy market in which to develop their careers.

Startup central

A long-time hub of innovation, the Netherlands’ government has created an accommodating landscape for startups and growing businesses. Venture capital spending in Amsterdam has tripled over the past four years, and funding allocated to help evolve the city’s 750 startups has more than doubled since 2016, totalling 322 million euros.

This administrative backing has given rise to a network of incubators and organisations dedicated to supporting international companies making a home here. The city offers plenty of options for those looking to join a more established organisation too, with the likes of Uber, Netflix, and Tesla housing their European headquarters in Amsterdam.

A lucrative move

A natural by-product of a competitive job market is, of course, good salaries. With Amsterdam’s businesses vying for the region’s best tech talent, wages in the sector are pretty healthy. In fact, IT pros working in the city can typically expect higher rates than those offered in other European industry hubs like London, Berlin, Paris, and Dublin. Take the average software developer for example. In Amsterdam, they can earn between 2.750 - 6.000 euros a month, depending on experience.

Your money goes further here too. The cost of living in the city is amongst the lowest of all of Europe’s capitals with an outlay of 1.000 – 1.500 euros generally sufficient to cover essentials like housing costs, insurance, foodstuffs, and public transport.

If that wasn’t enough to tempt tech pros into relocating, there’s a further deal-sweetener on offer for expats. International talent can take advantage of the city’s 30% ruling tax break, available to skilled foreign nationals. Those with desirable experience can also get help fast-tracking their way to the right to work in Amsterdam.

Provided that their new employer is part of the city’s HSM scheme, migrants who’ve been offered a job that meets certain salary levels are often ushered through the work permit process in as little as two weeks. There are no prerequisites in terms of education for this scheme, making it accessible to self-starters and skilled tech workers from all backgrounds.

A big city with small-town vibes

Whilst Amsterdam places a high value on tech talent, it also prizes work-life balance; you won’t be expected to live at your desk to earn a good wage. Quality of life on offer here is amongst the best in Europe, and the Dutch’s healthy approach to leaving work at the office door plays no small part.

The city was ranked best in the world for work-life balance in 2018’s OECD Better Life Index, and the people of the Netherlands, on the whole, are well above average when it comes to overall happiness.

So, if you’re a tech professional looking for plentiful opportunities, a good salary, and a laid-back, culture-packed environment to build a life for yourself in, you could do a lot worse than settling down by the Amstel.

James McDonagh


James McDonagh

James McDonagh is Director of EMEA at niche technology recruitment firm Frank Recruitment Group. After studying politics and philosophy at university, followed by a Masters in international studies and diplomacy,...

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Yoram Wijngaarde 10:47 | 11 April 2019

The corect link to the latest report is