The software industry ranks first in Romania in terms of top job opportunities, leaving behind sectors like sales and banking. So if you’re young and you want to choose a career path, software development would be your best bet.
Furthermore, in case you’re thinking of a career change, the IT field might be what you are looking for. The growth the industry has experienced in recent years makes it very welcoming to those who want to start over in a new job. There are several programmes trying to solve the IT industry’s workforce shortage, including Codecool, a school for programmers.
Romania’s IT industry has seen enormous growth – in 2019, it exceeded the EUR 5 billion threshold (five times its 2003 value and double compared to 2013). Its growth rate hit 14.3 percent in 2019 compared to 2018, and its contribution to Romania’s GDP reached 6 percent (versus 0.5 percent in 2003).
Today, Romania hosts many international IT giants, like Microsoft, Amazon, Adobe, Oracle or IBM. According to a 2019 analysis by KeysFin, the total turnover of companies controlled by US investors was around EUR 1.4 billion in 2017, and the IT industry represented about 30 percent of the total.
But Romania also has some local companies that have made it to the international market, like UiPath, BitDefender or SoftVision.
In terms of local activity, the cities with the most IT employees are Bucharest, Iasi, and Cluj. This ranking reflects the locations chosen by the American giants: Microsoft in Bucharest or Amazon in Iasi. The increase in the number of IT employees in Iasi is also due to the fact that the schools in the city produce between 2,500 and 3,000 computer science specialists every year.
IT salaries are stable
Romania is one of the most active IT hubs in Europe, with a rapid growth rate. This has led to the emergence of a major shortage of specialists on the local market. This has created new tempting, varied and highly secure career opportunities, where the employee has the upper-hand over their employer.
In this context, the highest wages in Romania are predominantly earned in this industry; the net nominal average income increases with every month that passes. While in February 2019, the average salary in IT was RON 6,683, by May 2019 it had gone up to RON 6,946, according to the National Institute of Statistics.
Companies are constantly on the lookout for people who are familiar with the most popular programming languages: full-stack, Front-End, Java or Python developers, as well as IT and Big Data security specialists or software engineers.
For a junior full-stack developer, the salary starts from RON 3,500, but most salaries are between RON 3,770 and 7,000, a range also confirmed by Brainspotting reports in recent years. A mid-level full-stack developer can reach a paycheck of RON 9,910 – 13,700, while a senior takes home over RON 14,630.
The incomes of front-end and back-end developers are similar, between EUR 650 and 1,300 for a junior with less than 2 years’ experience (average wage is EUR 870). For a mid-level developer, with 2-4 years of experience, the wage is between EUR 1,250 and 2,580 (average salary is EUR 1,720), while for a senior developer, with over 4 years of experience, the paycheck can be between EUR 1,800 and 4,300 (average of EUR 2,260).
Java programmers take home a monthly average wage of RON 7,072, according to the Paylab salary comparison tool, while the average monthly net salary for a PHP programmer is RON 5,546. The average wage for a Python programmer is RON 6,470, and a C ++ programmer can earn a net monthly of RON 6,973.
Demand for developers is greater than ever
The upper-hand the employees have over their employers is due to the fact that the IT industry is lacking more than 15,400 professionals per year. To better diagnose the current state of the IT employment market, Codecool IT school partnered up with recruitment agency Brainspotting to interview 47 IT companies and identify the main challenges they face in the recruitment process.
First, the academic environment does not provide enough IT graduates: the universities’ coverage is well below demand: the 5 polytechnic universities, 59 state universities and 174 private universities offering technical courses produce approximately 9,500 graduates annually, compared to the market’s need of over 15,000. Second, many Romanians are still choosing to work abroad: according to the study’s estimates, 37,031 IT specialists have left Romania to work abroad. The number is large enough to cover almost 80 percent of the talent shortage expected for the next three years.
Last, the IT specialists we have should improve their technical skills: the study showed that 63 percent of companies are dealing with low talent quality – it seems that Romanian IT specialists do not yet have the level of experience required to take on complex projects.
Learn programming from scratch in one year
The good news is that IT has become very accessible. Today, you can learn programming from scratch even if you don’t have a college degree. It is enough to be passionate, to want to learn to code and to spend enough time on it. Encouraging professional reconversion through various strategies seems to be a solution to the deficit. This is why IT schools are working in partnership with IT companies to train professionals in the field. People with different professional experience (from construction or telecommunications engineers to journalists or political science graduates) enhance the stability of a team, as already confirmed by some employers who took part in the study. “There are hundreds of companies around the world already doing this, as well as private programming schools that can provide support. Codecool has helped Vodafone, ThyssenKrupp, Morgan Stanley, Emarsys, CapGemini, and Evosoft find the right employees. Vocation is a very important motivation in the IT field, and it is worth paying attention to those who want a career change,” says Claudia Tamasi, Country Manager at Codecool Romania.
Choosing a good IT school can help you learn programming and get an entry-level job in less than a year. Bear in mind that the specialists say that the one-year achievement is only possible if you are truly committed and constantly attend courses, for at least 6 hours a day – just like going to work. The good part is that you may find a job before you even finish the course.