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Old 24.06.2021, 20:29
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What IT skills are in demand for jobs in CH?

This seriously is asking for a friend, as I am a scientist and hence have no clue about being employed in the real world, and I know precisely nothing about IT. I'm hoping some friendly EFers can chime in with some advice.

A good friend of mine with a background in physics and math is going to complete his PhD in Switzerland within the next 18 months-2 years. He is not at all interested in continuing in science, but would rather find some sort of programming or IT job. He is also from a developing country with political unrest and mandatory military service, he has no interest to return there.

He is hoping to be able to stay in Switzerland after he graduates, but given the current trend of outsourcing IT jobs to e.g. Bangalore he's not sure what skills he should develop to be able to find a job in Switzerland. Following his graduation he will have 6 months to search for a job where a permit won't be an issue. He is highly computer literate and sharp as a tack, this guy can learn anything and is willing to do whatever it takes.

Any EFers have advice on what IT skills are expected to be in demand in CH in the coming years? I'm trying to help this guy out as much as I can, any and all advice is appreciated!

Thanks a lot!

BN

Last edited by Bossa Nova; 24.06.2021 at 20:40.
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  #2  
Old 24.06.2021, 21:17
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Re: What IT skills are in demand for jobs in CH?

Hi,

I made the transition from PhD to engineering consulting some years ago.

In my job I use in order of importance: python, mySQL, C++, linux admin. But, any PhD with physics background has a similar skill set. At least in consulting, there is no advantage to being the most brilliant python developer. Maybe it's useful for starting a business but not to become an employee and land a permit.

What I think matters more is: knowing a Swiss language, express interest in leading projects, be willing to do sales, do boring admin work. From a certain perspective sometimes I do a similar job to what my ex-professor does at the university: promote an idea, get money, put people to work, sometimes do the work myself, be at meetings where results are presented, send invoice and have lunch with customers.

There's still time to learn at least 1 national language. He can take advantage of "free" language courses in the university. I regret a bit learning only French during the PhD, the courses were also there to learn German.

In my opinion, focusing in hard skills (math, physics, coding) corners oneself into really demanding and stressful jobs where a few years down the road someone cheaper appears.
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Old 24.06.2021, 21:30
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Re: What IT skills are in demand for jobs in CH?

I came across an article the other day about how cybersecurity specialists are increasingly in demand. I'm not sure if that applies to Switzerland, though.
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Old 25.06.2021, 00:24
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Re: What IT skills are in demand for jobs in CH?

Cybersecurity and Cloud. Those are leading at the moment.
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Old 25.06.2021, 04:27
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Re: What IT skills are in demand for jobs in CH?

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Cybersecurity and Cloud. Those are leading at the moment.

I'd add DevOps/SRE skills as well - both massively in demand too.
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Old 25.06.2021, 05:28
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Re: What IT skills are in demand for jobs in CH?

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This seriously is asking for a friend, as I am a scientist and hence have no clue about being employed in the real world, and I know precisely nothing about IT. I'm hoping some friendly EFers can chime in with some advice.

A good friend of mine with a background in physics and math is going to complete his PhD in Switzerland within the next 18 months-2 years. He is not at all interested in continuing in science, but would rather find some sort of programming or IT job. He is also from a developing country with political unrest and mandatory military service, he has no interest to return there.

He is hoping to be able to stay in Switzerland after he graduates, but given the current trend of outsourcing IT jobs to e.g. Bangalore he's not sure what skills he should develop to be able to find a job in Switzerland. Following his graduation he will have 6 months to search for a job where a permit won't be an issue. He is highly computer literate and sharp as a tack, this guy can learn anything and is willing to do whatever it takes.

Any EFers have advice on what IT skills are expected to be in demand in CH in the coming years? I'm trying to help this guy out as much as I can, any and all advice is appreciated!

Thanks a lot!

BN
Python, Javascript and .NET.
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Old 25.06.2021, 08:19
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Re: What IT skills are in demand for jobs in CH?

German.
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  #8  
Old 25.06.2021, 08:47
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Re: What IT skills are in demand for jobs in CH?

What is their PhD specialising in, and does that fit with anything employable in the IT world? Otherwise tbh I'd rather employ an apprentice who's cheaper and probably has the same or better IT skills.

But if they do significant data analysis using Python or any other language then there's plenty of demand for that, bonus for doing it cloud-based using cloud-native tools.

Just learning something like JavaScript and some UI frameworks isn't going to be very convincing, they'll be up against people with real experience.

Avoid the buzz words - DevOps is meaningless if you haven't done it in a proper environment; most academia is "DevOps" simply because there are no controls.
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Old 25.06.2021, 08:50
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Re: What IT skills are in demand for jobs in CH?

if he learns german and can program (using it for real, for his research), I think there are job opportunities. I don't see all this outsourcing, but I'm not in the expat job market either. SMEs that have traditional in-person german speaking teams don't want to or can't do the international team thingy and outsource everything.
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Old 25.06.2021, 08:59
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Re: What IT skills are in demand for jobs in CH?

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This seriously is asking for a friend, as I am a scientist and hence have no clue about being employed in the real world, and I know precisely nothing about IT. I'm hoping some friendly EFers can chime in with some advice.

A good friend of mine with a background in physics and math is going to complete his PhD in Switzerland within the next 18 months-2 years. He is not at all interested in continuing in science, but would rather find some sort of programming or IT job. He is also from a developing country with political unrest and mandatory military service, he has no interest to return there.

He is hoping to be able to stay in Switzerland after he graduates, but given the current trend of outsourcing IT jobs to e.g. Bangalore he's not sure what skills he should develop to be able to find a job in Switzerland. Following his graduation he will have 6 months to search for a job where a permit won't be an issue. He is highly computer literate and sharp as a tack, this guy can learn anything and is willing to do whatever it takes.

Any EFers have advice on what IT skills are expected to be in demand in CH in the coming years? I'm trying to help this guy out as much as I can, any and all advice is appreciated!

Thanks a lot!

BN
I'm not sure this would be possible.

"Employment following study in Switzerland
Foreign nationals can be admitted to work without having to provide evidence of their status under the precedence rule if there is a significant academic or economic interest in their employment. This rule applies only to degrees from recognised Swiss higher education institutions (universities and universities of applied sciences)."

https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home...ml#-1698804101

His employment may need to be related to his degree. Also not sure programming/IT work would fall under the "significant academic or economic interest" critera.
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  #11  
Old 25.06.2021, 09:27
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Re: What IT skills are in demand for jobs in CH?

I am probably pissing off half of EF, but first hand experience from an IT consultancy in Zurich at the moment:
- the dev team is shrinking. There is a clear trend to buy instead of building your own. Thats what a large part of the "cloud" is about.
- the architecture and infrastructure team is growing rapidly. Because those cloud services are fast, cheap and what not else... but they also add complexity to your it landscape.
- IT security. for the exact same reasons. If your stuff is now on other peoples computer and employees work from home... well, the numbers are official from the CH government: hacking attempts have gone up 400% the last year. And thats just the ones which were reported...
- there are some fields like business analysis and project management that are always good, but it really depends on the personality and people skills of your friend... lets just say not every scientist is a great person to deliver end user training.
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Old 25.06.2021, 09:35
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Re: What IT skills are in demand for jobs in CH?

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I'm not sure this would be possible.

"Employment following study in Switzerland
Foreign nationals can be admitted to work without having to provide evidence of their status under the precedence rule if there is a significant academic or economic interest in their employment. This rule applies only to degrees from recognised Swiss higher education institutions (universities and universities of applied sciences)."

https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home...ml#-1698804101

His employment may need to be related to his degree. Also not sure programming/IT work would fall under the "significant academic or economic interest" critera.
That's a challenge for the hiring manager to write a compelling letter to cantonal authorities to justify this person. Skipping the hiring of this specific individual would end in not being competitive in new advances in the field, losing business and possibly reducing employee count, etc. Words are there to be dominated and be put together to good use
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Old 25.06.2021, 10:43
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Re: What IT skills are in demand for jobs in CH?

Can have a look here: https://www.sah-zh.ch/angebote/ict-s...estimmung.html

For a first language have a go with python: https://learntocodetogether.com/category/python/

Wishing your friend great fun and success.
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Old 25.06.2021, 10:45
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Re: What IT skills are in demand for jobs in CH?

data engineering: Cloud pipelining / ETL (aws glue, talend, apache nifi.. etc) / cloud DB (snowflake, redshift)

data governance: security and access policy

software engineering: i think this is moving to more tool based approaches but the key is to have subject area experience.. no good just being a generic 'python programmer'
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Old 25.06.2021, 11:25
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Re: What IT skills are in demand for jobs in CH?

If really good at maths, then quants might be an option.

My son's employer is finding it hard to find good full stack developers.
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Old 25.06.2021, 16:33
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Re: What IT skills are in demand for jobs in CH?

Experienced infosec pros are impossible to find at the moment - not just here but all over. That makes jumping ship easy but the vacancies we have are slow to fill. The workload with COVID has sky-rocketed as normal is the new normal

as pointed out, COTS and SaaS are common but you need to know P/C/IaaS too in the modern world. So if you're skilled and experienced in Azure/AWS and know the key management systems on those platforms, you could be on a winner.
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Old 25.06.2021, 21:39
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Re: What IT skills are in demand for jobs in CH?

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Cybersecurity and Cloud. Those are leading at the moment.
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I'd add DevOps/SRE skills as well - both massively in demand too.
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Experienced infosec pros are impossible to find at the moment - not just here but all over. That makes jumping ship easy but the vacancies we have are slow to fill. The workload with COVID has sky-rocketed as normal is the new normal

as pointed out, COTS and SaaS are common but you need to know P/C/IaaS too in the modern world. So if you're skilled and experienced in Azure/AWS and know the key management systems on those platforms, you could be on a winner.
Strikes me these specialties require structured training, ideally an actual IT/IS degree, plus a fair bit experience to stand out. Even with a PhD, can a math/physics head make the jump credibly right after the PhD?
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Old 26.06.2021, 08:34
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Re: What IT skills are in demand for jobs in CH?

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Strikes me these specialties require structured training, ideally an actual IT/IS degree, plus a fair bit experience to stand out. Even with a PhD, can a math/physics head make the jump credibly right after the PhD?
I would say you need some experience and some formal recognition. A degree is an overkill, some relevant certifications can sure help.

A PhD won't help, unless it's related to the area.
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Old 26.06.2021, 11:42
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Re: What IT skills are in demand for jobs in CH?

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Strikes me these specialties require structured training, ideally an actual IT/IS degree, plus a fair bit experience to stand out. Even with a PhD, can a math/physics head make the jump credibly right after the PhD?

I have been working in IT for over 16 years and I dont have an degree.
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Old 26.06.2021, 12:51
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Re: What IT skills are in demand for jobs in CH?

Well, it depends on what is your friend truly looking for, a career, or just a pay check and being able to legally stay in Switzerland. I guess if given a choice the first would be the preference to him/her. So considering the background I would strongly suggest to chose from quant developer, data scientist, machine learning specialist - these are the professions often filled with graduates of math/physics. There is coding involved but it doesn't have to be state of the art, it just have to work as the gist of the work is just sifting out data (i.e. modern type of an accountant type profession). Ah, and you asked about what is in demand in Switzerland, these are for sure and will be for sure in demand in Switzerland and worldwide.
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