What is a Techpat?
Globally, we are currently seeing a skills shortage in technology and telecommunications. It’s reported that over the past nine years, over half of global organisations have experienced a shortage in skills that has had a negative impact on the business.
As a result of this, we are seeing a rise in Techpats – individuals with experience and expertise in technology who can fill the skill gaps abroad.
What does Techpat mean?
Techpat literally means Technology Expat. They are individuals who have specific skills related to technology who go abroad to work in these areas. Often, Techpats are sought-after as they can fill skill gaps. In this case, they will usually be employed by a local company.
There are many reasons why someone might want to work abroad as a Techpat. In countries where there is a skill shortage, a Techpat could find they receive good compensation to work there. Some Techpats might choose to work abroad to benefit from a certain way of life that the country can offer, or for economic reasons. Some Techpats might find it difficult to get a job in their home country if there is an over-saturation in their specific field but could find it easier in a foreign country where there is less competition.
What’s the difference between a Techpat and a digital nomad?
Some people view a Techpat and digital nomad as interchangeable, and indeed, both will involve working overseas from a primarily digital basis. However, typically, a Techpat will be an individual who will choose one country to live and work in, whereas a digital nomad might travel around more often.
There are specific digital nomad visas offered by many countries, which might not be appropriate for a Techpat, as the digital nomad visa will usually require the individual to work for a non-local business. If a Techpat has moved abroad to fill a skills gap, they will be more likely to be employed by a local company, and so will need a different type of working visa.
What jobs does a Techpat do?
A Techpat would generally include any person who works within information technology or computer sciences. According to Statista, the biggest skills shortage in the technology sector as reported by Global CIOs is cybersecurity. This is closely followed by big data and analytics, and then technical architecture, and DevOps.
Anyone working within these fields could find job opportunities around the world. However, a Techpat is not limited to only these fields. Each country will have different needs and different skill gaps, so it would just be about finding the right location where your expertise is needed.
How much can you earn as a Techpat?
How much you can earn as a Techpat will depend on your specific field and the country you’ll be working in. Often, Techpats with a lot of experience, working at a high level can earn six figure salaries.
A recent report showed that Switzerland was the highest paying country for jobs in tech, at $133,326. The USA was second, with an average salary of $114,772, followed by Australia at $102,423.
However, in some European countries, the average salary for tech employees was much lower. France, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Italy all had average annual salaries below $50,000.
When looking at tech roles, it was the Technical Consultant that earned the highest salary, at around $161,000. This was followed by a Salesforce/nCino Solution Architect at $157,938, and then Program Manager at $142,500.
How can you become a Techpat?
If you’re interested in becoming a Techpat, you should first research which countries are currently facing a skills shortage in the tech sector. You should investigate where you can add value with your specific skillset and experience, as different countries will likely have different needs.
You should also consider what sort of country you would like to live in. Some countries might offer a more relaxed way of life with a low cost of living, whereas others will offer a fast-paced, luxurious lifestyle. You should also consider whether you will be able to learn a new language, or whether you want to stick with a country that already speaks your language.
Once you have decided on the country, you can then start looking for a job. A lot of working visas will require that you already have a job role secured prior to you moving there, and a company can often help with the visa application once a role has been offered and accepted. They might also offer a relocation package, to help with travel and accommodation costs.
You’ll also need to consider other factors around moving and working abroad, such as working abroad insurance. Some countries might require the individual to have their own international health insurance in order to qualify for the visa. Other countries might provide public healthcare, but it could be of a lower standard than you’re used to, so private health insurance might still be beneficial. You’ll also need to think about setting up a foreign bank account, and if you want to transport your belongings overseas or start fresh with new items.