Tech Talent Transformation: Central and Eastern Europe's (CEE) Rise in the Global Tech Arena
Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) is experiencing a tech renaissance like never before, with multinational giants and innovative startups flocking to the region. What's causing this surge in interest? It's CEE's remarkable tech talent that's turning the spotlight on the region.
Boasting over 2.3 million Information and Communication Technology (ICT) specialists, the CEE region comprises nearly 3% of its workforce, making it an emerging tech hub. Leading the pack is Poland, the region's most populous and developed tech ecosystem, employing a staggering half a million ICT professionals.
In recent years, CEE has become a global tech magnet, attracting major players like Amazon, IBM, Oracle, SAP, Microsoft, Cisco, Google, and Intel. And the list is ever-expanding, with more corporations eyeing the region for investment. OpenAI, the groundbreaking artificial intelligence research laboratory, is one of the latest entrants, showing strong interest in establishing its European headquarters in Poland.
During his visit to Poland earlier this year, Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, couldn't help but praise the country's unique approach to nurturing engineering and research talent. He also noted the remarkable impact it had on OpenAI's success.
The surge of tech talent in CEE is a testament to the region's commitment to fostering innovation, research, and tech excellence. As global tech giants set their sights on CEE, this region is poised to become a significant player in the ever-evolving global tech arena.
Recent Data Adds Depth
Recent data reveals that the CEE region is making significant strides in the global tech landscape. In 2022, 9.4 million people in the EU worked as ICT specialists, representing 4.6% of the total EU workforce. This figure has been on the rise over the last decade, increasing by 1.4 percentage points since 2012.
Sweden leads the pack among EU countries with the highest share of ICT specialists at 8.6%, followed by Luxembourg at 7.7%, and Finland at 7.6%. On the other end, Greece (2.5%), Romania (2.8%), and Poland (3.6%) reported the lowest shares.
What's truly remarkable is the growth rate. From 2012 to 2022, the number of ICT specialists in the EU surged by 57.8%, nearly 6.6 times the growth rate for employment (+8.8%).
Diversity in the ICT Workforce
The CEE region is also making notable strides in promoting diversity within the ICT workforce. Recent data reveals a slight dip in the share of women working as ICT specialists in 2022 compared to 2021 (18.9% compared to 19.1%). However, this setback hasn't dampened the overall upward trend observed since 2014.
Among EU countries, Bulgaria stands out with the highest share of women among employed ICT specialists at 28.9%, followed by Romania at 25.2%, and Estonia at 24.5%. On the other hand, Czechia (10.9%) and Hungary (13.6%) reported the smallest shares of women in ICT roles.
The CEE region's tech landscape is thriving, with a diverse and dynamic ICT workforce that's rapidly gaining global recognition. As this region continues to attract global tech players, it's not just the numbers but also the diversity and commitment to excellence that make it a rising star in the tech world.