First, we need to say that the exact number of IT professionals in Poland is unknown. According to the most recent estimate, dating back to 2017, it was at least 600,000 and was increasing rapidly. One can estimate that the number stands at around 700,000 this year. However, we know the number of software developers based on recent and historical surveys. According to the 2020 Dealroom.co and the Polish Development Fund report, Poland’s number of software developers is as high as 401,000, almost three times as high as in Romania, which ranks second among eastern EU countries. It means that Poland is home to nearly ¼ of programmers available in the entire CEE region.
One interesting fact is the relatively large number of women in the Polish IT industry. According to the Geek Girls Carrots report, already in 2018, 30% of specialists, engineers, and programmers were women. As much as 63% of all women in IT are engaged in software development. What is also very important is that this trend has been picking up speed thanks to many NGO initiatives. Such as Women in Technology, the above-mentioned Geek Girls Carrots, DARE IT, Girls Code Fun and popular events such as The Perspektywy Women in Tech Summit, Kobiety IT or Dzień kariery kobiety w IT.
Poland owes its large number of IT specialists to the growing popularity of technical degree programs at many universities. Each major Polish city has a technical university, and there are over 20 of them in total. Computer science is currently the most popular field of study in Poland. The situation is similar with related majors: according to the Central Statistical Office (GUS), the share of majors related to science, technology, industry, and construction concerning the total number of university graduates increased by almost 6% in the four years. From 22.8% in 2013/14 to 28.5% in 2017/18. Consequently, in 2017 Poland ranked 3rd among 28 European Union countries in terms of the number of graduates in natural sciences, technology and IT per 1000 population aged 20–29. The total number of students in IT and ICT degree programs in Poland is approx. 75,000, with about 20,000 new graduates entering the labor market each year.
So many young Poles’ dream of a career in IT stems from the prestige of working in this industry and higher, regularly increasing salaries compared to other sectors. Consequently, the cost of employing Polish IT specialists is not among the lowest in the world today. According to Emerging Europe’s IT Landscape: Future of IT report from 2021, Poland’s average gross salary in the ICT sector is 2,190 euros per month (all ICT positions are taken into account). However, by building your team in Poland, you gain access to the largest pool of IT professionals in CEE, which will grow significantly in the coming years. It translates directly into product manufacturing capabilities and, accordingly, to revenues for IT companies. Another significant factor is cost impact, with staff salaries being critical. When considering the location of your engineering team, it is worth thinking not only about revenues and costs but also about the overall background conditions in the region and country.
The material was created in cooperation with the DoITinPoland.com portal