Oulu is the first location in Europe where Silicon Valley startup Alif Semiconductor has established a presence. Why did the firm decide to come to Oulu after setting up two offices in California, one in Singapore and one in Bangalore, India?
Enjoy life after work
Choose your own path
Working in the Finnish city of Oulu lets you build a life that looks like you. Before, during and after work.
Amidst the remarkable natural surroundings, Oulu is a modern ICT city. Backed up with centuries of global networking, the northern capital of the happiest place on Earth consists of various, international career paths. Here you’ll find both world-class opportunities and expertise.
In Oulu, the original and creative urban life flows in seamless harmony with the area’s pristine nature. The unique river delta opens up a plethora of waterways, swamps and forests to explore. The varying flora and fauna of the area are guaranteed to surprise. On mild summer days and nightless nights as well as during the calm and white winter like no other.
For the people of Oulu, a stable and clean life is a given.
Blaze your own trail or pick an existing one. Be it a professional adventure, a hike on the city’s several outdoor tracks or kayaking along the “Amazon of Oulu”, Oulu presents you with a multitude of paths – always right at your doorstep. Join us in developing to become the best in the world.
A bunch of inspiring reasons to be interested in working in Oulu
Here you’ll have all the opportunity in the world at your fingertips. Just read about our internationally known ICT companies.
A job with Nokia in Oulu has given Atul Saxena the opportunity to create new state-of-the-art products and be passionate about engineering. Read more about Atul’s thoughts on Finnish corporate culture and work-life-balance.
Rafeeq Rafeeq moved to the city of Oulu with his family in February 2022 to join the team that designs new electronic systems at Nokia. But why do we need to develop new chips all the time? Read more about the job that has potential to make a global impact.
ICTOulu is a network of companies operating in Oulu.
From lean startups to global IT giants.
Real experiences on life after work in Oulu
This is what people ask us
Below, we’ve answered some of the more common questions about living in Oulu.
Try out the Oulu way of life
Yes and no. Oulu is a vivid city with a lot of exciting events and opportunities. But it is not bustling per se which makes it easy for you to focus on your work and develop yourself. Also your work-life balance is going to be excellent. In the city center, you can easily find a buzzing after work scene as well as places to calm down without the hustle and bustle.
Whether you are an athlete or the centerpiece of a party, Oulu offers the playground for fun-packed moments. Break a sweat in the sports field or on the dancefloor. There is plenty to see and do 365 days a year, from second-hand stores to music shows and good drinks to enjoying a delicious meal. Catch all the games of the Oulun Kärpät hockey team or try our Finland-known music festivals like Qstock, which has been sold out for eight summers in a row. There is something for everyone in the European Capital of Culture 2026.
When you have a job in Oulu, you’ll make enough money to lead a comfortable life in many ways. The advantages of everyday living in Oulu compared to other big cities have been measured. Compared to our capital, Helsinki, for example, an Oulu resident gets double the square meters for their home with the same amount of money!
Traffic jams and congestion will not stretch your days in Oulu! Smooth and swift mobility to work, hobbies and other everyday errands directly means more time for precisely what you value the most. A maximum of 20 minutes to anywhere – here you will spend much less time on trips.
In Oulu, you’re not constantly in a rush. Here, you will have a chance to appreciate the work-life balance full on.. In Oulu, the easygoing atmosphere of a small town meets the services and an abundant cultural selection of a big city, topped with four distinct seasons and fantastic natural experiences.
In Oulu, we love to have a cup of coffee with our colleagues. Oulu offers a lot of different leisure activities where you can meet people with similar interests. Oulu offers the playground for fun-packed moments by yourself or with new friends: Karaoke, gigs, bowling, first-class sports, a plentiful picnic with buddies. After some warming up, you can end up with life-long friendships!
Sharmin, from Bangladesh says: “People are quite shy to initiate discussions. However, when a conversation starts, I feel like I am talking with someone from my home country. I feel comfortable and attached when we get into deep discussions.”
It might take some time to make friends with Finnish people. Socializing is not always easy. Finns can be shy, quiet and slowly warming up. But fear not! Oulu is full of people with big hearts. As something of an international city, we are always eager to welcome new talent. There are already a lot of international people here, since people from more than 120 different nationalities live in Oulu!
Doris from Hong Kong shares a tip: “The office life is quite informal in Oulu as well. My colleagues are just like my friends more than my workmates.”
Live happily ever after
Cost of living in Oulu can be higher than in Central Europe. But in Oulu, you can live in the city center or by the beautiful river without an increase in the cost of living.
In Oulu, there are no no-go areas riddled with crime. The city is safe and tranquil. All the neighborhoods are safe for kids to go to school or leisure.
In Finland, we have an excellent public health care system. With a very reasonable patient fee, you can enjoy a very high quality service.
Of course. The education system in Finland is world-renowned. Oulu offers education on many levels. In Oulu, there is a whole path of education from toddler to doctor! Oulu International School teaches the Finnish National Curriculum and hosts 440 students. In total, students speak 35 different languages!
Work and develop yourself easily
Yes! In Oulu, we have esteemed universities, research organizations and workplaces that make career development possible. As many as one third of the people in Oulu have an academic degree, so we can call ourselves quite a smart bunch – and still be modest about it.
It is said that in Oulu there is a more positive, caring and sharing mindset in management. Finnish organizations typically have a low hierarchy. As doctoral student Julia from Poland puts it: ”More focus on innovation and passion for work!”
In Finland’s scale and even internationally, the Oulu ICT sector is wide! We have some 1,000 companies varying from big internationals, such as Nokia, Mediatek, Rohm, Flex, Etteplan, Commscope and so forth, all the way to small start-ups. Every day 2,6 billion people use ICT technology developed in Oulu. With 50 years’ experience Oulu is the world leader especially in information and communication technologies and related operations.
Feel the clean nature and experience suprising events
Compared to Central European cities, Oulu has good air quality. Software engineer Maciek from Poland says: “I was struck how clean the air is in Oulu when I first arrived at the airport. In Poland you have to go high up in the mountains to smell such pristine air as I inhaled on the Oulu Airport apron.”
Sure! In Oulu, the air and water quality are far better than in many places. IT consultant Kai from Poland says: ”I’m amazed that the river is so clean that I can fish in the city center!”
The long beach at Nallikari and the joyful mood at the Market Square on a carefree summer’s day. Blossoming cultural events like the Air Guitar World Championships. Perhaps the most wonderful thing about Oulu is that parks extend all the way to the city center – with excellent venues for various events around them!
Find a cooler way of life
Easily! Locals enjoy the outdoors in all seasons – riding bikes, hiking, and running even when the temperature drops to -20 °C. Feel free to embrace winter: Try cross-country skiing, snowboarding, kite surfing or ice fishing. You do not have to go far even for downhill skiing, for the southernmost fell in Finland is right around the corner at Syöte. In November, the Lumo Light Festival brings light and joy for the people during the darkest of times and offers new viewpoints to the city experience.
Yes, sometimes a lot of it. You can have a full on real winter experience on a yearly basis in Oulu and it’s great! Here, you can experience all four seasons. In addition to the snow, you will see a wonderful fall of autumn, the outbreak of spring and the nightless night of summer.
Oulu has well-working public transport. But the secret to a real Oulu way of life is winter cycling. Cycling Superhighways provide particularly smooth transfer between the city center and the university, among other districts.
Viktors from Latvia says: “The most shocking thing I discovered about Oulu was that people cycle in it all year, even when it’s -15 degrees or colder outside. The cycling infrastructure in Oulu is excellent; you can easily get from one side of the city to another by bike at any time of the year.”
Get in touch
Interested in enjoying life after work? We are always happy to answer any possible questions. Check our contact information, leave us a message and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.