Trends in the tech industry labor market. What has 2022 brought us?
The year 2022 is almost upon us. December is the month of summaries, evaluations and making plans for the next quarters. As ItMatch, we also want to tell you a little about the passing year in the Polish tech industry, and that's what this article is for.
Employment contract? Better choose B2B!
The first weeks of this year brought changes for the entire IT industry in Poland. The amendment to the tax law, which became known in the media as the Polish Deal, caused many programmers to decide to change their form of employment. This fact should not surprise anyone, as the differences in monthly salaries can reach several thousand PLN. An example? 20 000 PLN gross on an employment contract means 13 238 PLN net. The same programmer, after switching to B2B cooperation, can expect more than PLN 14,500 per month with a flat tax (19%) and PLN 16 000 with a flat rate of 12%.
Interest in traditional employment contracts in the sector has fallen by 20%, and there is no indication of a possible reversal of the trend. In addition, the differences between contracts are blurring, as on B2B you can already count on paid days of non-service, signing bonus or additional insurance. The only constant difference is the lack of share packages, but the high cost of employment and less flexibility of cooperation usually outweighs it overall.
Work remotely, even on a smaller salary
The pandemic has made classic offices redundant. Demand for 100% remote offerings is growing at a slower rate than it was just a year ago, but hybrid work, especially with flexible stationary schedules, is gaining popularity at a stunning pace. According to a Deloitte report, nearly half of employees are willing to switch employers if they increase the number of days they are expected to spend in the office each week increases. More shockingly, however, a third of respondents would be able to agree to a pay cut in exchange for remote work.
Remote work is also affecting salaries in the sector. Foreign companies are increasingly looking for specialists from Poland, offering them very favorable salary conditions. Will we answer the question "how much does a programmer earn in Poland" by saying the same as in California? Most likely not, but the interference of foreign companies significantly raises salary requirements among experienced and highly specialized candidates.
Specialists as always wanted
Labor market trends in Poland are driven in significant part by a very low unemployment rate of 5%. Although large-scale dismissals began in the middle of the year and some recruitment has been discontinued, demand for specialists still remains high. It is estimated that the tech industry in our country needs 25,000 new specialists in various fields. We can easily see the translation of these needs into job offers. In every month of 2022, the numbers of new proposals were higher than in the same period from the previous year. We saw the biggest differences in the security category (366% more than before) and AI (356% more).
Shortages also translate into efficiency in recruitment processes. Only 61% of surveyed companies hired the planned number of specialists. The labor market and its laws, especially the shortage of people and high salary expectations, affect the economy, as some companies have to abandon projects, thereby reducing their profits.
Who is the statistical tech industry professional?
IT jobs are slowly ceasing to be typically male. According to the previously mentioned Deloitte report, the percentage of women in technology companies is constantly growing. Currently, one in four people employed in the sector is a woman. This is a marked increase from 2019's 22.4%. While these numbers don't seem high at this point, it's important to remember that the IT industry is evolving at a pace not seen anywhere else, and that biases and stereotypes are relatively rare.
Ethnic diversity should also be kept in mind. More and more IT professionals are coming from abroad. The reason for this is that expatriates from many parts of the world find the jobs in tech industry in Poland quite attractive.
The Ukrainian war outbreak has caused thousands of its citizens to come to Poland. The wave of emigration was also augmented by Russians and Belarusians who decided to leave their homes, choosing remote working instead of living in their current place. The flow of specialists in various fields made the Polish tech sector instantly revive. Many companies have clearly noticed the higher availability of specialists on the labor market.
An expression of the immigration of specialists can be seen in the statistics on business start-ups. For 8 months of 2022, 20% of IT newly established companies were owned by Ukrainians, Belarusians and Russians. Of course, the vast majority of these are contract workers (sole proprietorships), but there has also been a shift of several companies from the East precisely to Poland.
Analysts and security specialists in demand
As a partner in many recruitment processes, we have seen many interesting labor market trends in 2022. First of all, the salaries of software testers have increased significantly. According to our statistics, the best wages can be expected by Java, Python and iOS specialists. If we consider the categories of offers, the top ones are: Security, DevOps and Big Data. It's hard to talk about a revolution, but rather an evolution taking place in Polish IT. From the statistics, we can conclude that specialists for the position of full stack developer are more and more frequently searched for.
One can also see a narrowing salary spread between junior positions and mid and senior positions. Whether this is a result of tech industry trends or general changes in the labor market in Poland, like remote working, remains to be seen. However, one should keep in mind the small seniority of the statistical software engineer in our country. In 2021, one in four workers in the sector was a junior.
Coding bootcamps and courses sell like fresh buns
The education of IT workers is the subject of much dispute and discussion. Although a college degree is held by more than 80% of those surveyed, it does not always have a technical profile, much less one related to what the employee does. In the Developer Survey report, which is published annually by Stack Overflow, one can see the clear contribution of coding bootcamps and other forms of paid education to the development of programmers, analysts and testers.
IT courses are, in a sense, competing with technical studies. Although formal education continues to be valued by employers, the number of science graduates in Poland is declining, which has several reasons. Overall popularity of universities and technical colleges is declining, and many announcements don’t include clear educational requirements. However, we must admit that some employers appreciate diplomas all the time. If, dear reader, you are at the stage of planning your career, the best solution seems to be a conjunction of technical studies and courses, although, of course, such a development path will take a long time.