New year, new you! Okay, so you're probably not going to have an overnight transformation but maybe this year you want a change, and you have decided that change should be to start a new career in tech. If you are looking for the perfect city to find a tech job and spend your 2023 in, Munich could be calling you.
Munich is one of Europe's top-ranking tech hubs. It is the fourth biggest tech hub on the continent for both unicorns and future unicorns, being beaten only by London, Paris, and Berlin. And while those cities are all great, they are big, capitals, and can be a little unfriendly to newcomers.
In contrast, Munich is big, but feels small, has friendly vibes, a big international community, is the safest city in Germany, and hosts Oktoberfest! What's not to love?
Munich is not only a great place to live, but it's a great place to find a tech job. The city foresaw the tech boom in the early stages and invested heavily in infrastructure to attract tech companies and talented IT staff to the city. It's now home to numerous tech enterprises and startups and the Munich tech ecosystem weathered the COVID-19 crisis well compared to other tech hubs, meaning jobs are still easy to come by.
In this article, we take a deep dive into Munich's tech scene. We look at what major tech enterprises are located in the city as well as the startup ecosystem. We will also explore what Munich has to offer outside of work and by the time you have finished reading, you should know for sure whether or not Munich is the right city for you to launch your tech career.
Tech jobs in Munich
Deciding to relocate to a new city and start a career in tech is a bold choice. It's not one you want to undertake without a certain degree of caution. If you move to Munich for a tech job, you want to know if there are jobs available.
So, what is the tech job market like in Munich?
According to the European Commission, in 2022, Bavaria’s (the state in which Munich resides) economy was one of the strongest in Europe. The unemployment rate in Bavaria in March 2022 was 3.0%, 2 percentage points lower than the German average, and there are currently more job vacancies being reported than before the COVID-19 pandemic.
A quick search on LinkedIn shows us that there are currently (Dec 2022) 3,653 vacant “developer” positions and 22,177 “IT” positions in Munich, Germany.
IT jobs are there and waiting for you in Munich, and the strong economy in the area indicates that you would be able to find a secure job relatively fast. In Germany, there is also a nationwide IT skills shortage so businesses are fast to snap up and tech talent they can find. With it being a candidates market, you may also find you have a strong hand to play when negotiating for salary and benefits.
Munich Tech Companies
Munich has one of the strongest economies in the country, so it should come as no surprise that 10 out of the 30 corporations that feature in the DAX stock index, including Siemens, Adidas, and BMW, are based in the region (Munich and surrounding areas of Bavaria). Multinational enterprises and tech giants such as Microsoft, Intel, and Google have their German headquarters or laboratories here too.
And it's not only giant enterprises that you could end up finding your career start at, there are many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) too. While these companies may not be household names, some of them are hidden champions and world leaders in their industries.
Automotive and mechanical engineering are strong industries in Bavaria and with digitization becoming a priority in these sectors, new tech jobs are emerging every day. If cars and mechanics aren't your vibes, there is plenty more to look at. Other key industries in Munich include biotechnology, environmental and energy technology, and aerospace.
The Growing Startup Scene in Munich
It's not only huge corporations that are operating in Munich's tech ecosystem. The city is also a prime destination for startups.
Munich has garnered a reputation as an ideal place to locate for Transportation, Software and Data, and Health startups. According to StartupBlink, there are 120 Transportation startups, 39 Software and Data startups, and 39 Health startups in Munich
Some of the most successful startups to come out of Munich include.
A cloud-based system that monitors risk in the business's supply chain sends an early warning to stakeholders
A startup that has taken advantage of the network that Munich offers and is supported by Intel, GETTYLAB, and Bayern Kapital. It builds smart gloves for use in industrial settings. They have a scanner that communicates with a software solution for easy tracking of goods and products in factories.
Where is Munich and What's it Like?
Munich is not only a great location because of its infrastructure, but also because of its surroundings. Located in the heart of Bavaria, just a short journey outside of the city will take you to the stunning German countryside. Not only that but Munich is also close to Italy, Austria, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic. On those cold winter weekends, you can take a short train ride and be skiing in the alps or ice skating on Lake Constance.
In addition, Munich has a well-connected airport that makes trips home to see family and friends easy and cheap and lets you explore Europe with ease when you take advantage of Germany's generous holiday allowance.
In the city itself, the small cobblestone streets, numerous bakeries and locally-owned shops, and general coziness make you feel like you’re in a small city – not surrounded by 1.5 million people.
You will find that the city is not only welcoming and friendly to you, but also to any pets you bring along for the ride. If you are bringing your dog, cat, ferret, or basically any animal with you, you will be more than happy to know that Munich is very pet-friendly. A large majority of the city’s restaurants and stores let you bring your pets in with you and will often offer them a bowl of water too.
Public transport in Munich
While it's great to know about the fun things Munich has to offer, you also want to be practical. One of the important things you want to consider is how easy it is to get to work.
While remote working is taking off across the globe, many roles still require you to come into the office once or twice a week. In Munich, you will find reaching offices, no matter where they are in the city, simple. Public transport is well-connected, organized, and cheap. We highly recommend taking advantage of it because traveling by car can be slow due to congestion and frustrating when you can't find a parking space.
How Much is the Rent in Hamburg?
The next practical thing on your mind is probably how much it costs to live in Munich.
Rents vary depending on what you're looking for and in what part of the city, however, to give you a rough idea here are the average rents in Munich.
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre: €1,353
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre: €1,013
This is probably a bit higher than you have seen for other cities such as Hamburg, but luckily, with higher rents come higher salaries. If you are new to a career in tech, you will probably be looking for a junior position and could expect to earn around €54,726 per year. If we round that up to €55,000, that works out to around €2771 after taxes and deductions.
Housing will be affordable for you if you work in tech. Luckily tech jobs are also quite secure as people from all over the world are moving to Munich and this is making the housing market a little challenging. Owners can be picky when choosing tenants so having a contract locked in before you start looking could be helpful in your house hunt.
What is Munich like for International Arrivals?
Moving to a new city can be scary. You leave everything and everyone you know behind and start over in a new place. You want that transition to go as smoothly as possible, so just how easy will it be?
Munich has a population of 1.5 million and over 400,000 of those are not German. It has become one of the most international cities in the nation and that means that you will find everything you need to make your move easy and welcoming.
You are sure to find others in Munich from your home city or country as well as thriving communities that share the same interests and are open to welcoming new people.
Should you Start your Tech Career in Hamburg?
Munich is often considered the top tech city in the country and for good reason. There is a thriving tech ecosystem that makes it the perfect location to start a new career in tech. In Munich, you will jump into a strong economy, be perfectly located to travel, and enjoy the support of a thriving tech community.
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