IT skills will get you a job in Sweden – knowing Swedish as well will give you a career
It is an excellent time to be living in Sweden and having an IT education. Sweden’s tech industry is booming, and many companies are having a hard time finding the competent labour they need.
It is said that not knowing the Swedish language is not considered a deal-breaker for getting hired. But there is a difference between getting hired and having a career. If you want a secure position, and want to go places in this industry, you will need to know Swedish.
A market hungry for talent
There is a shortage of skills in IT. With the ongoing digitalisation, there is an overwhelming demand to create software solutions for all kind of problems. And IT competence is becoming scarce when many companies are looking for ways to digitise and streamline their business. This need for IT talent has increased labour immigration to Sweden. If you have come to Sweden looking for a job in IT, the chances are good that you will find one.
But even if it is possible to get a job here without speaking the language, most employers expect you to learn Swedish as soon as possible. Many will not even hire you despite your technical skills if you cannot speak Swedish. And there are good reasons for this. Learning the language will benefit everyone involved - especially you.
Why you need to know Swedish in the IT industry
More prominent companies can cope with a non-Swedish speaker. Almost everyone in Sweden speaks good English, and the most important thing is your skills in the programming languages. But as a programmer, speaking Swedish will be an advantage for you on the Swedish labour market. And a necessity if you are going to have a career here.
Here is why:
- More prominent companies may recruit international specialists and are open to non-Swedish speaking candidates. But a lot of the business jobs is with smaller companies, and they are very hesitant to hire someone who does not speak Swedish. They want more than just a programmer – they need a team-member.
- Even if your colleagues can speak English, they are more comfortable speaking Swedish. And this is also the language you will meet in most work situations. When you are working in teams, and in project groups, most people primarily speak Swedish. Meetings held in Swedish. Any written documentation and information is also in Swedish; not to mention all the essential informal communication, like small talk at the office, the chit-chat around the fika table etc. You will need to learn Swedish to become integrated and a full member of the team.
- Working with IT is not only about programming. It involves presentations, training, documentation, consulting clients, understanding problems (that are not always explained by people with an IT experience), being a part of project management and planning etc. It is necessary to be able to communicate in the native language of the people you work with to perform these tasks.
- The Swedish society not adapted for non-Swedish speakers. Information, signs, documentation, news etc. are in Swedish. It will not be easy to manage your everyday life if you do not know Swedish.
- Personal development is significant for your career in IT. You will need training and new challenges to grow and become more skilled and experienced as a programmer. There are plenty of these opportunities out there, but they are in Swedish.
- The coding and IT slang used in Sweden is a language of its own. You need to know Swedish to be able to know “IT-Swedish”. The jargon will help you to understand the working culture, your colleagues and clients, and the Swedish language in general.
- It is a massive investment for employers to recruit and introduce employees, and the person they hire must fit in into the culture, become integrated with it, and thrive and stay. That process is only possible if the recruited talent learns Swedish.
- Employers see candidates that have taken classes in Swedish as more attractive. Training in Swedish shows that the candidate is serious, dedicated, and highly motivated. Learning new skills to be better at your job is saying a lot about you as a person.
Speaking Swedish is not only the key to getting a foot in the door of the industry – it is necessary to get in, and to stay there to make a career of your job.
Improve your skills with a specialised Swedish language course for Programmers
If you are interested in kickstarting a career in the Swedish IT industry (and you really should be!), you will also need an education in the Swedish language. Preferable one that is not only about learning the language, but specialised for IT professionals.
SFX-IT is a specialised course in professional Swedish for Programmers. It is a part-time course offered both in-person and also available as online distance learning. When you take this course, you will be learning Swedish and Swedish IT lingo and insights into the Swedish work culture. But Swedish is not the only language you will learn during these classes. SFX-IT also include courses in the programming languages Java and C#.
SFX-IT is highly tailored and personalised. Depending on your situation, you either study 15-18 hours a week at C3L in Tyresö or if you already are working full-time, you can learn three hours a week online in a virtual classroom. There are different levels available, and you can choose what is most suitable for you.
With the appropriate Swedish skills adapted for your industry, you will not only be able to enter the Swedish job market – you will have a blooming career in it.