Serbia lacks 15,000 IT professionals

There isn’t a single person with a PhD in information technology in Serbia at the moment that is unemployed. Unlike last year, when thanks to the National Employment Office (NSZ) one person with a PhD in IT got a job, since the beginning of 2018, not a single person who has a PhD in IT or a PhD in computer science is registered as unemployed with the NSZ.

Albeit, there are 6,655 unemployed persons, specialized in computer technology, registered with the NSZ, and out of this number, most of them (2,656) are computer electricians. On average, it takes them 28 months to find a job.

Specialized IT professionals have it even more difficult because they, according to the NSZ statistics, are waiting 104.5 months for a job. It is interesting to mention that only one person, of this profession, is currently looking for the job – the NSZ data shows. Last year, two such specialists found employment with the help of the NSZ. IT system engineers usually wait the shortest time to find employment, and in July 2018, there were only two people with such qualifications registered with the NSZ as unemployed.

The NSZ reminds that the computer and information technology job profiles are currently very much in demand. Based on a survey conducted among employers in the last few years, it can be concluded that ICT jobs will be much in demand for years to come.

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“Companies are currently mostly looking for electrical engineers, computing engineers, software engineers, IT analysts, statistical analysts, computer operators and computer electricians. Since the beginning of this year, a total of 669 IT professionals were registered with the NSZ, and in most cases (416 of them), they were hired even if they did not have work experience”, the NSZ says.

The Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications says that, in Serbia by 2020, between 50,000 and 100,000 new jobs could be created in the IT sector, but that there is also a big shortage of IT professionals, just like in the EU. The NSZ adds that, in order to rectify this, the government needs to give its support and invest in the development of IT professionals.

“The Information Technology Development Strategy stipulates implementation of measures in the ICT sector primarily in formal education and gaining additional qualifications or re-training. The measures for improving the role that the ICT has in education entail bolstering the position that IT and computing science has in education in terms of starting to learn about it since the very beginning of education. The Strategy also entails increasing the enrolment quotas in IT universities, measures for maintaining and improving the quality of teaching staff in IT at higher learning institutions and improving spatial and technical capacity”, the Ministry of Telecommunications explains and adds that the people who possess such qualifications, work experience and interests but are not so in demand in the labour market should be helped with additional education and training so they could gain qualifications to find a job in the IT industry.

One of the aforementioned state measures is organizing free, specialized IT training. As of this September, the NSZ is going to hold training sessions at which people will be able to gain the required know-how and skills to work in the IT sector, including JAVA programming, creating web applications, PHP and net. programming. The training will be held in 10 towns in Serbia, and the plan is to train a total of 775 people during the first cycle.

“We had over 10,000 candidates applying for these training sessions, with 7,859 meeting the basic qualifications and entering the selection process”, the NSZ explains and adds that the second cycle will probably be launched by the year end and this cycle would have roughly the same number of trainees.

Currently, 45,000 people work in the Serbian IT sector. They are creating software for various business sectors – from agriculture to medicine – as well as applications for a number of clients. Most of them are working for development centres of leading global technology companies like Microsoft, IBM and Intel which have already established their offices in Serbia and licenced local companies to work for them. Serbia is currently lacking 15,000 IT professionals, but with the help of the relevant authorities, the results of this sector would be even better which, in turn, would positively affect export and create added value in the IT segment.

The study titled “IT Industry in Serbia 2015-2017” says that, since 2006, the Serbian IT industry has developed considerably. According to the 2016 data, there were close to 2,000 IT companies in our country (700 more than in 2006), the number of IT employees has doubled from 10,000 in 2006 to 20,000, while the business revenue from IT services has also doubled to over 1.5 billion euro.

Compared to 2006, the assets of IT companies grew from 150 million euro to 500 million euro, and 200 IT companies are established every year. An average IT company has less than 10 employees and the annual revenue of 80,000 euro per employee.

According to the data collated by the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, the total investments in the IT per capita are 62 euro, which is at the Bulgarian and Romanian level. To compare, in Croatia, the total investments in IT per capita are 200 euro, and the EU average is 800 euro. The World Economic Forum says that Serbia tops the list of countries from which IT experts are migrating.

(Politika, 27.08.2018)

http://www.politika.rs/sr/clanak/410010/Nedostaje-nam-15-000-IT-strucnjaka

 

This post is also available in: Italiano

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