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The World’s (Newest) Champion – Poland IT Sector

Poland IT sector report - featured

Warsaw, Poland – Stable economy & low wages attract world’s best.

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Warsaw, Poland – National economy and investor-friendly climate continues to attract global attention. Image Credit – Kamil Gliwinski

“Poles get things done”, is more than an observation – in Polish ‘we can’ is a national mantra. As a nation proud and determined, its populace boasts the most motivated and passionate job-market in recent history. And as Poland evolves, so does its economy, and its 25-year march to prosperity.

Preparation is key in this instance, and the country’s IT Industry is fast-becoming a worldwide powerhouse. With strong infrastructure and rapid connections to Western Europe, Asia, and North America, to the open availability of needed human capital – Poland remains a prized talent pool for companies in an increasingly competitive, and ‘employee-first’ job market.

Dynamic economy, and near-universal computer fluency envied the world-over, Poland’s IT sector is shaping up to be the key component in the new Polish economy. Enticed by an investor-friendly climate and consistent economic growth – the likes of Microsoft, HP, Google, Oracle, IBM, and SAP have been the posterchildren of companies pivoting IT operations to Poland. Having avoided the 2008 Financial Crisis, the country remains a focal point for IT outsourcing operations.

Of the three subsectors comprising the IT industry in Poland, the IT Services subsector will boast continued growth (the other two sectors being hardware and software) which according to a 2019 forecast – its aggregate share of the Industry is to balloon to 45%, with hardware and software experiencing 10-point drops. Despite falls in the traditional subsectors, market consultancy PMR Publications estimates 8.2% growth for the IT Industry as a whole for 2018.

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Downtown Warsaw, Poland – Infrastructure improvements have propelled national economic growth.

In a results-driven economy, where value is always determined by its merits – Poland’s are no exception. E3 Game of the Year Award, The Witcher series, is a worldwide gaming icon. Developed in CD Projekt Red labs in Warsaw, the firm’s unique selling point is the creation of its own in-house gaming creation engine – an IT process crucial to the creation of current-generation games, and considered best in the world. Furthermore, the likes of DICE Games, based in Poznan, has been first on earth to harness augmented reality with analogue gaming – which by using breakthrough technologies is a reinvention of arcade gaming. Using an increasingly tech-fluent talent pool, Poland’s expertise is gaining worldwide attention.

IT success stories that have helped the country cement its status as a European IT haven – and work ethic is one of those key reasons. Adam Kicinski, President of CD Projekt Red, states it simply; “Poles work hard, they’re driven, and are out for more [sic]”.

Education has of course played an intricate role in expertise, with emphasis on information technology courses at major Polish universities, such as Warsaw Polytechnic. New generations of students continue to flood a demanding IT job market, with a 2017 total of 1.5 million entry-level graduates fluent in next-generation technologies. The winning point however; is global outlook alongside investor-friendly salaries. Poles are multilingual, with nearly all attaining a working-level of English.

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Main Market Square, Krakow, Poland – Despite comparatively low salaries, Poland maintains a high standard of living. Image Credit – Lucas Albuquerque

Current salaries fare well for Western European firms; with current positions for Junior-level IT specialists beginning at just under 900 USD per month, ranging to 2000 USD for equivalent Senior-level positions. Consultants and architects are marginally higher, at 4000 USD, albeit remaining well-below the UK average. Although sustainable, salaries have begun to increase in larger cities, however parity with Western Europe is not anticipated for at least a decade.

It is indeed an optimal climate for prospective investments in Poland’s IT sector, with cost-effective wages, robust economy, and geographical focal point within 2-hours of London, Paris, and Frankfurt. World-class education, and fluency in English has unlocked an expert talent pool, however without the levels of Palo-Alto-level venture capital investments currently flooding Shanghai, Beijing, and Shenzhen, China, local salaries will continue to lag Western Europe – making Poland the prime territory within the European, and global IT job market.

As Adam Kicinski states; “We have the talent to impress the world, now it’s reality.”

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