Is webdevelopment a good skill for moving abroad?

I’m 35 and still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. All I know is I don’t want to stay in the UK. Unfortunately I don’t have sought after skills that certain countries want.

If I were to continue my journey with web dev and become proficient enough to land a junior role in the UK (i.e good grasp of the basics). What are the odds of being able to land a job abroad (Europe, Oz, Canada). Is it in demand?

I want a job that if I decide to up and leave I won’t have to retrain such as a plumber and something that has the scope to be freelance.


I’m not sure if you can boil down every country to “a single profession” or anything similar to that. Like every country that has plumbing needs plumbers, and yea some things might change but most stuff doesn’t.

In the same boat, basically every country requires some kind of web presences and thus every country has some web developer jobs available. Some more than others, all depending on demand.

However, its worth nothing that developer jobs in general can support remote work. This means you technically could be working for a company in another part of the world, or at least another part of the same country. This has a number of repercussions, as such it means you are technically applying to a job without a defined location/commute limitation, and it means costs of living could be different than where the actual company resides.

I usually recommend going backwards. Where you see what is in demand in the area you want to work in, and see what they are looking for. It could be there aren’t enough people applying and a large influx of jobs, or the only jobs left require higher levels of skills and experience.
If you want to get out of the UK, then be sure to look into what it takes to move to another country as well as get a job and everything related to that.

Good luck!

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Thanks for the reply and good luck to you too!

It’s one of those things where I’m just thinking about possibilties which scares me as I’ve not even began the journey yet! I know places like Canada welcome tradespeople in fact I think they’re very sought after everywhere.

But you’re right about working backwards. And before I work backwards I will aquire the basic skills. :smiley:

I like the idea of working remote, I’m a personal training and even want to start doing online coaching.


Brad gives some good advice.

I would add that every place is different. Picking Canada at random, devs are in high demand, as shown here.

It is a lot of work to get a work visa in another country. It takes a lot of work by the company and it may not be worth it to them. It takes money, paperwork, and often they have to prove that they don’t have enough natives to do it. If the occupation is on a list like this, that means that they are having trouble finding people. Additionally, the gov will sometimes fast-track people in in-demand lines of work (the laws vary by country). But often they will want some kind of proof of qualification - degrees, certificates, a verifiable work history.

So yeah, this can work. The whole plan would probably take at least 5 years (finishing your learning and getting a couple years of experience), but even that might be a little optimistic.

But you shouldn’t study web dev because you want to move to Canada. You should study it because you enjoy it. Then, if you work hard enough, you might be able to accomplish some of your goals.

I’m in a similar boat - I’m in the US but we want to move to Spain. But I have a job that I can work remotely so it’s not as much of an issue.


Thanks Kevin, good advice.

Either way I’m wanting to end up in a career which I enjoy, I currently work in fitness which isn’t great as I get older so want something I can do on the side now and eventually with time transition to as my main occupation.

You mention you work remotely so like Brad says, I guess this is the other alternative. Well, before Brexit that would have been perfect.

Good choice with Spain, it’s what’s made me want to start learning Spanish seriously. Either way I feel it’s something to work towards.

You mention you work remotely so like Brad says, I guess this is the other alternative. Well, before Brexit that would have been perfect. … Good choice with Spain, it’s what’s made me want to start learning Spanish seriously.

Well, yeah, that would make the actual moving easier. Of course, you still need to have a legal right to stay there. If you can’t get an EU passport, then with places like Spain, there are other visa options, like their self-employment visas. And some countries have opened up digital nomad visas.

But the biggest thing would be to get work experience. And in order to do that you have to get a job which means learning, learning, learning, and building things. That is your priority. Once you have a few years of experience, opportunities will reveal themselves. For example, with only 2 years of experience, I just got really close with a job that would have handled my work visa. It’s probably rare, but it is possible.

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Definitely something to look into nearer the time. If all fails, I’d still love to have the knowledge of being a developer.

Time to crack on!

Almost all have given some good answers to your question regarding web development as a career in Europe and Canada. I will add that yes, almost everyone is looking for web developers nowadays because they want their websites done. Today everywhere there is a demand for web development because of the digital world, so go for it.

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Thank you, that is very true! Even if I wasn’t able to relocate, I still feel it’d be a great thing to learn.

Sure, market is similar to UK. Let’s say you are in a position where you’re wanting to move from a job in UK to one abroad.

Europe – a month and a half ago didn’t make any difference whether you were from UK or anywhere else in Schengen. Now, much more difficult as needs a visa etc. There are just logistical difficulties – if you speak the language, and have no issue navigating the cultural/legal structures, then that’s fine, you can apply for a job and a visa isn’t going to be terribly difficult to get. It’s just currently [much] harder than it was before Jan. Still not going to be anything like [eg] the US, it’s eminently doable, but the likelihood is that EU companies will make hires based more on experience than was the case previously. That may change based on trade agreements, but as removal of freedom of movement was a core plank of the Brexit campaign, probably expect more tit-for-tat from the EU w/r/t movement rules – the UK no longer allows anyone from the EU to freely move to and get a job there, so the EU will ensure it is the same the other way unless they are given a reason not to do that. For example, may need a minimum salary, which makes getting junior jobs difficult

Oz and Canada are commonwealth & common language with reciprocal work visa arrangements: distance is the issue more than anything else, getting a visa is not really likely to be problematic at all.

It’s all just logistical. If you really want a job in any of these geographic areas you are likely to be able to get one. Oz/Canada are now much easier than Europe: if you want a job in Oz/Canada, putting aside distance [which is rather big thing, but anyway] it isn’t likely to be vastly harder than getting one in the UK.

Sounds like the question is coming from the perspective of regulation in trades.

The short answer is no, you won’t have to retrain to work abroad.

There is no regulation on what tools we use or how we use them so the way you build web apps/sites in the UK is the same way we’re building them here in Canada.

The only difference is the tech that’s most popular will vary by geographic regions. I don’t know about UK specifically but I know Europe has way more Angular adoption than North America which is mostly React.

So you may have to pick up a new framework in order to compete with the job market overseas. But there’s no requirement that you get certified in anything specific in order to be a web dev in Canada or the US.

That’s a key cultural difference too by the way. Certifications in the tech industry mean very little in North America unless you’re going to work in Dev/Ops or traditional IT. They’re helpful for people without job experience as a developer but after you have experience they don’t mean much.

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Thanks, very informative. Well it’s something for me to keep in mind. It’d be nice to have a possible option anyway rather than be stuck somewhere and have to retrain completely.

Thank you sir.

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