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IT salaries, employment rates in CEE catching up with Western Europe - report

IT salaries, employment rates in CEE catching up with Western Europe - report IT (Author: SeeNews) License: all rights reserved

BUCHAREST (Romania), October 17 (SeeNews) - The Information and communications technology (ICT) sector in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) is catching up with Western Europe, as salaries and employment rates are closing the gap, a report compiled by Hungary-based IT education centre Codecool showed on Thursday.

The European labour market is projected to be lacking more than 670,000 ICT professionals in 2020 and qualified digital workforce is needed more than ever to enable Europe to enhance its global competitiveness as digital innovation became a key factor, the Codecool report, which examined employment rates, salaries and other key aspects regarding the ICT sector in the EU-28 countries, showed.

"As the salaries and employment rates gap is closing between the Eastern and Western parts of Europe, it is clear that new challenges, like skills gaps, shifting professionals and missing soft-skill sets in the ICT sector have to be handled by a complex education and training ecosystem to keep up with global competition, Codecool said.

In 2018, some 8.9 million professionals worked as ICT specialists across the EU-28 which makes up 3.9% of the total workforce of the researched countries. This also means that in only ten years, the number of ICT specialists in the EU has increased by more than 40%. While the employment shares are continuously the highest in Western Europe, most of the countries from the CEE region – like the Czech Republic, Slovenia, and Hungary – are already surpassing or nearing the European average share, the study showed.

The report also highlights the urging need to discover new fundaments of cooperation between European policymakers, enterprises, higher education and the actors of the private education sector to be able to provide the necessary, quality workforce in this accelerated sector.

The number of respondents reporting difficulties when hiring digital workforce in the CEE region is growing, as their share of all respondents was 45%  in Romania.

As a result of the constantly increasing market demand, ICT salaries are highly competitive all across the globe. However, earnings fundamentally depend on factors such as country, gender, age, education level, and the type of job.

For example, in Romania, ICT wages increased bya compound annual growth rate of 11.53%, the study showed.

"The general approach towards ICT professions has changed remarkably in the past few years. As the average salary level increases every year, the ICT sector becomes more and more attractive to employees in every market, which leads to a growing number of career shifters," Codecool founder Balazs Vinnai said.

Codecool operating five campuses in three countries - Hungary, Poland, and Romania, with more than 150 corporate partners and 500 graduates per year.