During ICTOulu’s stay at the Profesia days event in Bratislava’s Old Market Hall, located right in the heart of Slovakia’s capital, we were asked one question quite often: “So, what brings you here?”
The best way of answering this is to first give a little bit of backstory.
The need for new talent at companies within Oulu’s ICT stack is vital. Businesses are seeking professionals to fill a wide variety of vacancies including programmers, software designers, cloud computing experts, front end and back end developers, and so on. Basically, if someone has a strong and relevant career or educational background in technology, there is most likely a role for them within our sector.
Reducing the skills shortage within the industry has become a crucial part of our activities within ICTOulu. Last year we were involved in talent attraction projects that specifically targeted ICT professionals in other European countries. In terms of reaching people, Slovakia was one of the places where we enjoyed the most success. So when we were given the opportunity to go there and meet students and workers alike exploring their career options, we considered this to be the natural next step in our work.
Profesia days is a two-day event that is held in a handful of cities in Slovakia and Czechia, including Bratislava. Alongside all the exhibitor stands, there were seminars, demonstrations, workshops and panel discussions. It was a continuous hub of activity and there was never a quiet moment once doors opened!
At our purple booth on the upper level of the hall, we presented information about Oulu as a place to live and work, whilst additionally showcasing some examples of the types of companies that operate within the city’s diverse ICT cluster.
This also marked the first time that ICTOulu has taken part in an event like this outside of Finland, and we were thrilled to see such a positive response to our presence. Attendees were fascinated to find out what brought us to Bratislava and that proved to be a common starting point for lots of discussions about the ICT sector in Oulu and the work/life balance we enjoy here, as well as learning a little more about the job market in Slovakia generally. We also discovered that there are certain subjects that unite the two cities, such as our mutual love for ice hockey! By our estimates, we spoke to over 400 people during our stay.
By the time that exhibitors were starting to pack up their leaflets and business cards, we had spoken to several students and professionals who were intrigued and excited by the opportunities that Oulu and its ICT sector can provide. We are always aware that choosing to move to another country for work is a big decision for anyone to make. It can also be a rewarding choice for one’s career and their personal life and leisure time. Our hope is that, by speaking to people face-to-face in places like Bratislava, we can sow the seeds for people to explore how they might fit within our sprawling and innovative ecosystem.
Further reading about living and working in Oulu
Filip Polak moved to Oulu from Slovakia in 2019 to study at the University of Oulu and is currently a part-time employee at Nokia. His story, in which he explains why he moved and how he has settled in the city, is well worth reading.
Want recruiting support from ICTOulu?
If you are an ICTOulu member and would like to be involved in similar opportunities like this, please get in touch with us!