Romanian Software Industry Employment Grows March 2008

Software industry recruits majority of qualified graduates each year
Ziarul Financiar – March 7, 2008
by Sabin Popescu

The number of employees in the local software sector has more than doubled over the last five years from around 25,000 to over 55,000 employees, according to preliminary data from a survey conducted by the Information Technology Institute (ITC).

The IT&C sector is therefore one of the few fields in the economy where all the graduates from specialised colleges are recruited by specialised companies.

The annual increase in the number of staff almost overlaps the total number of IT&C college graduates, a situation that is difficult to explain given that a large part of the graduates are recruited to work in the service centres of multinationals or in the IT departments of companies that operate on non-IT sectors.

This therefore confirms that many companies prefer to recruit staff while they are still in college, or alternatively employ people trained in other fields.

Out of the total number of employees around 30% work for the top 100 companies in the software and services sector, which includes multinational branches and local large and medium-sized companies.

ITC officials estimate that the employees of multinationals earn more than 25,000 euros a year on average, while local large and medium-sized companies that mainly specialise in software development paid an average gross salary of 13,000-20,000 euros last year.

The average salary paid by the top 100 companies – 13,580 euros, is almost double the average of the entire software and services sector, which was estimated at 7,435 euros in 2007.

The average turnover per employee stands at 37,760 euros, compared with 34,100 euros reported in 2006, while the average added value per employee (productivity) increased by just 15% and reached 15,460 euros, a result that confirmed the opinions of both economic analysts and the National Bank.

According to the ITC survey, the growth rate registered by salaries in the software and services sector has been twice as high as the productivity rate over the last two years.

Whereas 25,000 people were working in the software and services sector five years ago, this figure reached more than 55,000 in 2007. Chances are it will exceed the 64,000 mark by the end of this year, says Mircea Vuici, who coordinated the survey’s data. The sector numbered approximately 13,000 employees in 2000.

Vuici explained that the annual growth rate of the number of employees in the industry had stood at 7,000 since 2003, but forecasts at least 8,500 people in 2007.

“The average number of employees went up by 4,600 as early as the first half of last year, compared with the entire of 2006,” Vuici added.

Last year’s figures were estimated based on the data gathered in the first half of 2007, on the information supplied by the companies operating in the sector and on data released by the National Statistics Institute (INS).