The magazine Foreign Direct Investment rated Zurich as the best business location among 89 European rivals thanks particularly to its IT and telecommunications infrastructure. Additionally Zurich has tied for fifth place in a global ranking of the top 50 cities for students. Besides Zurich is the best city in the world for expatriates to work, according to two recent polls which hail the city’s infrastructure and banking services.
The Greater Zurich Area is often called Switzerland’s economic growth engine. This growth is strongly service-oriented. Nowadays, few of the highly skilled labor force are working in Zurich’s manufacturing sector, let alone in agriculture. In the canton, about 80% of all employees work in the service industry. In the city itself this percentage rises to an astounding 90%. The most important field of employment for those working in Zurich is, of course, finance.
Zurich: There is more to learn than just money laundry
Zurich’s financial sector is often considered synonymous with the professionalism, wealth, and discretion of Switzerland’s banks in general. Indeed, Zurich is among the top 10 financial markets around the globe, comparable to New York’s Wall Street or the City of London. In addition to the Swiss Stock Exchange, the city features such household names of finance and insurance as UBS, Crédit Suisse, Swiss Life, Swiss Re, the Zurich Insurance Group, and AXA Winterthur.
Even if you don’t plan on working in Zurich’s banking and insurance companies, the city and the canton offer plenty of potential employers for highly qualified expatriates. The Zurich Office for Economy and Labor is trying to strengthen other industries in the region. Thus there is even greater interest in other fields to provide job opportunities for working in Zurich: for instance, tourism, health and life sciences, aerospace businesses, and the creative industries. Potential growth sectors like medical technology, micro and nano technology, and IT/CT profit from the presence of several renowned universities in the Greater Zurich Area. Research and development, as well as business intelligence, benefit from the graduates of Zurich University, the ETH Zurich, or the University of St Gallen.
Apart from Google, various other multi-nationals have their Swiss or even European headquarters in the Zurich area. So, you may as well land a job in vehicle engineering (BMW, Fiat, Ford, Renault, Volvo), chemistry and pharmaceutics (Bayer, Pfizer), or business consulting (PWC).
The good marks for Zurich also have to do with the good international schooling system, getting to work on public transport is stress-free and anyone can feel safe walking around late at night. There is no such thing as a rough area in the city. No matter what building you live in, people take pride in it so you don’t see the decay evident in other cities around the world. There is a strong Germanic influence in Zurich that you do not find in Geneva and a great deal of precision in Zurich which can feel a bit regimented, but it is an awful lot easier to know where you stand.