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July 14, 2023 - 7 minutes

Why Should You Study a Bootcamp in Madrid or Barcelona?

These two sunny cities are emerging powers in tech

Ironhack - Changing The Future of Tech Education



I mean, why not?! Madrid and Barcelona, two of Europe’s most renowned cities, are incredible cities for practically any purpose. But when it comes to taking a tech bootcamp, you truly can’t go wrong in these two sunny destinations. They each have their specificities, of course, and Spain itself is a bustling place for emerging tech professionals. 

In this article, we’ll cover the benefits of both cities, in addition to what Spain offers techies. 

The Tech Scene in Spain

Most people would consider Spain to be an average European country when it comes to technical advances, falling behind nations like the UK and Germany. But in reality, Spain ranked seventh on the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI)’s 2022 ranking with the following scores in these four categories:

  • Human capital: when it comes to the knowledge and experience of the Spanish people, the country’s average is below that of the EU; this contributes to the skills gap and overall slow growth. 

  • Connectivity: considered a regional leader in the field, Spain ranked third overall in terms of connectivity. 

  • Integration of digital technology: while larger companies are able to keep up with changing technologies, smaller and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are falling behind, contributing to the growing skills gap. 

  • Digital public services: Spain ranks high here, offering a range of digital services in different sectors. 

The tech sector makes up 19% of Spain’s GDP and following the COVID-19 pandemic, the following three points were highlighted as the main focuses: the digitalization of industry and business, the digitalization of R&D+i, and improving the population’s digital skills. And when it comes to startups, the vast majority of one of Europe’s biggest startup hubs are located in Madrid or Barcelona.  

The workplace gap in Spain

2021 witnessed 21% more tech employees join the market, but there’s still a long way to go to fill the 100,000+ vacancies of 2022. Where does this gap come from? Why don’t people just choose to join the tech sector? Let’s discuss three main reasons: 

  • Outdated university curriculum: after four or five years of university studies, graduates don’t have experience with the newest skills in the market--which is exactly what employers are demanding. What they learned was important when their syllabus was created four years prior, but lacks the newer technologies that are in such high demand today.

  • Accelerated digital transformation: technology is moving so fast and professionals are simply unable to keep up with the newest innovations. 

  • Weakened on-the-job development: reskilling or upskilling would be a great option for employees looking to transfer their current skills to new and in-demand skills, but many companies lack the resources to properly train their current employees. 

These three factors, although significant, aren’t insurmountable. In fact, we have two specific areas that can help the aforementioned barriers to tech: education and business.

Tech education in Spain

In 2020, only 6% of university students were enrolled in a tech-related course. And for these students that are studying tech, they’re learning the current technologies from when they began their studies, which are outdated and not in demand once they are ready to enter the workforce. Here’s what’s being done to improve this: 

  • The Spanish government introduced Formación Profesional, a two-year course designed for those looking to learn in-demand skills in an intensive manner.

  • 53% of people recently hired in tech have come from these bootcamps.

Tech-focused businesses in Spain 

Companies get their next generation of techies from universities, right? So it makes total sense that companies and universities should work together to ensure that students are learning what companies are looking for in future employees. 

  • Universities that partner with bootcamps or universities can help create a syllabus that truly prepares students for the workforce and the skills they truly need.

  • Mentorship programs between professionals and students can also help students get a feel for what the professional world of tech is like. 

Sector-specific Tech Trends in Spain

Before we head into the specificities of Madrid and Barcelona as cities, we want to highlight the future of some sectors within tech: web development, UX/UI design, data analytics, and cybersecurity. 

Web development in Spain 

Web development is rapidly growing in Spain, with 94% of Spaniards using the internet daily. This increase in usage means demand for tech professionals, especially for software developers in Madrid, has skyrocketed. All companies need web development experts to help maximize their online presence. We can expect the following in the near future: 

  • An increase of progressive web app usage 

  • The growing popularity of 5G networks 

  • Increased use of low-code/no-code platforms 

  • The introduction of cross-platform app development 

UX/UI design in Spain

UX/UI design was ranked as one of the top 10 most demanded skills in 2022, but that’s not all: experts predict that 100 million UX/UI professionals will be needed by 2050. Let’s keep these points in mind: 

  • UX/UI design is an incredibly broad field with roles for practically anyone 

  • Salaries and job responsibilities will vary according to the role 

  • Successful UX/UI designers boast a varied skill set, with both hard and soft skills

Data Analytics in Spain

When it comes to data, Spain ranks 13% above the EU average and boasts advanced data strategies, mature platforms, and active methodology for measuring the impact of open data. To maintain its position as a data leader, up-and-coming data professionals will need:

  • To be experts on the entire data analytics process, including collection and processing

  • To be able to count on real time or live data 

  • To use third-party data or the cloud to alleviate some of the weight of storing so much data 

Cybersecurity in Spain

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: improvements in cybersecurity technologies means that cyber attacks are also getting better. Spain ranked fourth in the 2022 Global Cybersecurity Index, but will need to keep the following points in mind as cyber attacks become more advanced and Spaniards put more and more of their data online: 

  • Spain and the US experienced the most malware attacks during the pandemic and 91.8% of those were successful

  • More than half of the Spanish population is concerned about their personal data 

  • The country is starting to adopt federal initiatives to improve overall cybersecurity 

Now that you know why Spain is a great place to dive into tech, let’s head into more detail about two of the world’s sunniest cities: Madrid and Barcelona. 

Tech in Madrid 

Choosing to jumpstart your tech career in this Spanish capital is a great choice; with incredible food, a low cost of living when compared to other European cities, and a great mix of city and rural living, Madrid truly has everything you need. Still looking to be convinced? Here’s some more things to keep in mind:

  • Despite being a Spanish speaking country, the vast majority of both native Madrileños and visitors speak in English–Spanish is also easy to pick up. You’ll be ordering your caña in no time! 

  • As the capital, lots of both Spanish and European tech companies have offices or headquarters in the city, setting you up for easy networking. 

  • The city boasts an incredible quality of life with great public transportation, tasty food, and overall positive vibe. 

  • You’ll never run out of things to do! When you take a study break, you can head to one of Madrid's many museums or churches, or even take your computer to one of its many parks and study there! No matter what you like to do, Madrid has it.

  • With a vibrant student and expat population, you’ll find locals and foreigners alike around every corner, helping you acclimate to Spanish culture while getting a little taste of home.  

Tech in Barcelona 

Very few cities can offer the incredible combination of beach and city, but that’s exactly what Barcelona does. Located in the Spanish state of Cataluña, Barcelona is just a few hours from France and other Spanish cities and offers close proximity to some of Europe’s leading tech companies. Take a look at what else Barcelona offers: 

  • This incredibly multicultural city mixes Spanish, French, and Catalonian culture together to create a unique and tasty local cuisine. 

  • You’ll have the chance to learn both Spanish (Castellano) and Catalán, while still being surrounded by English speakers and expats from all over who flock to the picturesque streets of Barcelona. 

  • Its border to France means that it’s in a great central location and links to the rest of Europe, boasting offices for some of the continent’s leading companies. 

  • You can enjoy relatively temperate weather year round, enjoying the beaches and many parks during the majority of the year. 

Ironhack in Spain 

We realize the potential of both Madrid and Barcelona and Spain as a whole and that’s why we were the first ever bootcamp in Spain, established in Barcelona. Since then, we’ve expanded our campus to Madrid, where we offer a wide range of options so that your bootcamp experience is the best it can be: in-person, remote, full-time, or part-time courses in web development, UX/UI design, data analytics, and cybersecurity. 

Both our campuses, located in Matadero in Madrid and Poblenou in Barcelona, were designed with our students in mind, offering nearby public transportation options and warm and welcoming classrooms. 

Does Spain seem like the perfect place to kickstart your career in tech?! We think so! Choose between Madrid and Barcelona, or choose remote, and let yourself become the next techie to join the tech sector in Spain. You won’t regret it. 

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