Job Opportunities in Switzerland

Posted on 25 March 2007 by info

For the highly skilled or highly educated, Switzerland offers wide opportunities for employment. There remains a shortage of highly qualified workers in Switzerland, due to the outsized nature of the Swiss infrastructure, which in spite of its small population of 7 million has a global footprint.
For those with high levels of training, qualifications, experience and the determination to excel, there are diverse opportunities for work in switzerland, and a wide range of job opportunities across most sectors of the economy. The Swiss manufacturing sector in pharmaceuticals, chemicals, machine manufacture and electronics currently has an enormous demand for skilled labor. Much of the industrial and pharmaceutical sector is concentrated in the swiss-german part of the country, with the bulk of opportunities being available in the region aroung Zurich and Basel area. The service sectors of banking, insurance/reinsurance, consultancy and tourism are very important and employ a large percentage of the workforce. The financial sector sector, spread throughout Switzerland, with employment in Switzerlandimportant centers in Geneva, Lugano, Zurich and Basel, is in a hiring boom. Switzerland continues to experience shortages of highly qualified candidates in science-intensive fields, especially in Information Technology, which is widely demanded across most industries. Further employment shortages are in engineering, management and medical services. The strongest shortages in specific professions noted in 2006 were :

IT specialist, Economist, Finance specialist, Lawyers, Business executives, Biotechnologists, and Communication systems engineers

Certain professions –such as psychologist, sociologist, geographer, zoologist or botanist — have limited opportunities because the Swiss market is relatively glutted with qualified candidates. Also, medical doctors will find the main cities relatively saturated and therefore the welcome will not be especially warm. However, doctors coming to set up practice in the Swiss hinterlands (away from important agglomerations like Zurich, Basel, Geneva, Lausanne, Lugano, …) will find it easier.

When you are looking for work in Switzerland, you need to consider the regional differences in Switzerland relative to the employment sector you are looking in. For example, if you are looking for employment in International Institutions (World Trade Organisation, Red Cross, United Nations etc.), your focus should be Geneva because it is the center for most international and humanitarian organisations. Nonetheless, there are other international institutions in other parts of Switzerland, such as the Bank for International Settlements in Basel.

swiss companyGeneva (along with Zurich and Lugano) is well-known for private banking and one finds important institutions such as Pictet & Cie, Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch, and others which have their headquarters there.

If you have a look at the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs site or the chamber of commerce in the canton you desire to work in, you can often find information on companies in Switzerland.
For finance and business opportunities, the largest number of opportunities exist in the Zurich area. Ticino, Geneva, and Basel are other capital-rich regions. Keep in mind that most multinational and international companies use English as the language of conduct, but Swiss companies and most small enterprises use either German , French or Italian so it is useful to learn the basics of the language of the region in which you intend to reside, not only for professional advantages but also for general social use.

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