The new year is right around the corner. As 2023 approaches are you thinking about taking a pivot in your career? If you work in tech and want to relocate, or are looking to start a new career, Hamburg could be calling you.
Hamburg tech companies are going from strength to strength and the city is harboring strong ambitions to become one of Germany's major tech hubs. There are currently over one million tech jobs in Germany and the sector generates annual sales revenues of over €230 billion, which accounts for nearly 7% of German economic output.
Hamburg foresaw this growth when it was still in the early stages and started investing heavily to attract tech companies and talented IT staff to the city. After numerous complete infrastructure projects and other efforts to attract industry, it is quickly emerging as a favorite destination for those looking to start a career in tech.
In this article, we will dive deep into Hamburg's tech scene. We will explore the major tech enterprises in the city, look at the startup scene, and explore what Hamburg has to offer outside of work. By the time you have finished reading, you should know for sure whether or not Hamburg is the right city for you to launch your tech career.
Tech jobs in Hamburg
Relocating to a new city to start a career in tech is a bold choice. It's one you don't want to undertake without a degree of certainty that you will be able to find the tech job you have been hoping for.
So, what is the job market like in Hamburg?
According to the European Commission, in 2022 there were more vacancies than qualified professional-level job seekers in the IT industry in Hamburg. A quick search on LinkedIn shows us that there are currently (Dec 2022) 2,772 vacant “developer” positions and 16,998 “IT” positions in Hamburg, Germany.
IT jobs are there and waiting for you. Talent gets snapped up fast in Hamburg – especially in tech. There is currently a nationwide IT skills shortage so it's possible to find a tech job when you have the right skills and qualifications.
Hamburg tech companies
Hamburg is Germany's second-largest city and is home to some of the biggest tech offices in the nation.
One of the reasons that Hamburg attracts so many developers and other tech workers is that you are spoilt for choice when it comes to companies to work for.
Tech giants from Airbnb and Dropbox to Facebook and Microsoft all have offices in the city. Let’s take a look at some of the major players in the Hamburg tech scene.
That's right, the tech giant Google has modern offices right on ABC-Straße. It was one of the first companies to see the potential in Hamburg and opened offices in 2001 making it the head office for its German operations.
If you land a job at Google, you will get to explore their wild offices. Each floor has its own theme. The 5th floor is sports-theme and has a track hallway, mini golf course and ping-pong stadium – not a table, but a stadium!
Hootsuite's Hamburg offices opened back in 2015. The social media tool has seen massive success and has offices located across the globe – although its staff can work from anywhere.
Dropbox dropped its anchor in Hamburg back in 2016. Its service is particularly popular in the DACH region (Germany, Austria, and Switzerland), so it made sense to set up an office in one of these locations – and Dropboxs’ top choice was Hamburg.
These are only three examples of tech enterprises operating in Hamburg. There are many more for you to discover. No matter what kind of company you want to work for, you are sure to find one that matches your criteria in Hamburg. The diversity of the tech scene means that no matter your career ambitions you can find a way to achieve them in the city.
Hamburg’s unique tech ecosystem relies not only on established enterprises but also on many fledgling organisations. The startup scene in Hamburg is flourishing and if a multinational is not the kind of company you want to work for, don’t worry there is plenty more on offer.
The growing startup scene in Hamburg
Hamburg’s status as a prime destination for startups continues to rise. Hamburg has Germany’s highest number of startups with 253 per every 10,000 inhabitants, putting it ahead of Berlin and Munich.
Tech-based startups account for 14% of startups in Hamburg. That might not sound like a lot, but most mon-tech startups also rely heavily on tech. Look at Airbnb as an example, it is considered a travel startup but as of 2018 it employed between 1200-1300 software engineers.
Where is Hamburg and what's it like?
There are definitely tech jobs in Hamburg. But that is not the only important thing to consider when relocating to start a new career.
Here is a quick guide to the city so you can get a feel for the vibe.
Hamburg is located in the north of Germany. The Elbe river connects it to the sea. That's right, in those sunny summer months, you are just a quick train ride from the ocean or a short walk from the river. We don't recommend jumping into either though, unless you enjoy ice baths – it is still Germany after all.
Friendlier than Berlin and less hectic than Munich, Hamburg is a city you can feel at home in quickly. There is a large international community, lots of outdoor space, good transport and numerous other aspects of the city that make it easy for a new arrival to settle in. You will quickly find community, and learn your way around.
Public transport in Hamburg
When moving to a new city and starting a new tech job, one of the important things to consider is how easy it is to get to work. Remote working culture is taking over in tech, but many companies are embracing more of a hybrid model. Even if you find a remote tech job, you may have to go into the office once or twice a week.
In Hamburg, that will be easy. The Hamburg Public Transport Network (HVV) operates a comprehensive network of trains and buses across the city and the surrounding suburbs.
On weekends and public holidays, the busiest U-Bahn and S-Bahn lines (the German equivalent of the metro) run 24hrs making it simple and safe to get home after a night out with friends.
Many Hamburgians (yes that's what people from Hamburg call themselves) get around the city by bike. Hamburg is extremely bike-friendly, with separate bike lanes and wide roads. If you do start your tech career here we highly recommend you make a bike your first purchase.
How much is rent in Hamburg?
Another thing that is likely on your mind is how much it costs to live in Hamburg.
The average rents in Hamburg are:
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre: €1,054.55
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre: €801.58
If you are starting a new career in tech, you will likely be in a more junior position and could expect to earn around €45,000 annually. That works out to around €2,490.00 after taxes and deductions. Housing will be affordable for you if you work in tech, and unlike cities such as Berlin, there is not a housing crisis with apartments being easier to find.
What is Hamburg like for international arrivals?
Arriving in a new city can be scary. You leave your friends and family behind, so you quickly want to fill that gap and find a community. How easy is that to do in Hamburg?
Hamburg is an international city. As of 2021, 17.2% of the population are immigrants. With this multinational community, you will quickly find groups of like-minded friends that will make you feel at home. Hamburg is welcoming to newcomers and when you start searching, you quickly find that it's easy to make connections and find communities around your interests – be that tech, pottery, guitar, or whatever else takes your fancy.
Outdoor spaces in Hamburg
Hamburg is officially a “green city,” with 14% of its space being green. Green areas and parks make up massive areas of the city and Hamburg is also home to Europe's biggest Japanese Garden. The popular garden and the other parks in the city provide a peaceful natural environment for you to find some tranquility after a stressful meeting or on a hot summer day.
Should you start your tech career in Hamburg?
When you think of starting a tech career in Germany, Hamburg, Berlin and Munich are probably the cities that come to mind. Munich is often considered the top tech city in the country.
However, this is not exactly reflected in the rents, community, quality of life and salaries. Hamburg offers salaries competitive to cities like Munich but in a friendlier location. Start your career in tech but don't sacrifice your well-being.
In Hamburg, you will have access to outdoor spaces, the ocean, a thriving community and so many other wonderful things that will help support you as you grow your career in tech. In 2023, Hamburg is the attractive city for developers looking to relocate or start their careers.
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