Poland is often overshadowed by its Western counterparts when it comes to economy, culture, and even language. However, Poland is a hidden gem nestled right in the center of Europe. One of its biggest strengths is its strong tech culture which makes it a strong contender for European champion. And while we can’t declare the official #1 just yet, Poland has all the markers to rise to the top.
In this article, we are going to explore key factors that are likely to propel Poland to the top of the food chain. Let’s dive right in!
Affordable IT Services
Unlike its counterparts in Western Europe, Poland offers competitive rates for its IT services. Polish software developers charge as low as $20 per hour compared to pros in Silicon Valley or in the UK who charge upwards of $40 per hour. Poland also has a lower cost of living compared to other EU countries such as Germany, thus naturally lowering the cost of hiring.
Poland offers one of the most attractive global destinations for outsourced IT services. The ability to charge a lumpsum amount for these offshore services considerably lowers IT costs. Thus, Poland attracts some of the biggest companies in the world for IT on a rolling basis. These include corporations such as Google, IBM, Accenture, Uber, Amazon, and Cisco.
Even at the lowest level, Poland is affordable for all types of services, including consumer-facing ones. For example, a college student can get an expert essay writing company to help them with a computer science assignment for pennies on the dollar.
An Abundance of Tech Talent
Poland has no shortage of tech talent, with nearly 30,000 graduates from STEM-related courses yearly. As of 2023, over 400K professionals were working in the Polish IT industry.
Besides that, Poland is the leader in the EU when it comes to the number of female STEM graduates. That’s refreshing for a male-dominated industry with a nearly 50-50 split that breaks industry norms and sets a unique work culture.
In an increasingly digital world where tech skills are leveraged in all areas, Poland is expected to outperform other EU countries. The high concentration of digital skills, from web developers to AI/ML engineers makes Poland an attractive investment destination.
Poland is also a niche tech hub, showing particular strength in areas such as fintech, e-commerce, gaming, AI, and cybersecurity. Companies and individuals looking to make a mark in these areas will thus find Poland an excellent hub.
Strong Emphasis on STEM
One of the biggest contributors to the large IT pool in Poland is its strong emphasis on STEM education. Thus, a majority of the population has a natural affinity towards technical subjects. A recent Polish IT Community Report showed that 3 out of 4 respondents working in the IT sphere graduated from a university. Nearly 60% of developers surveyed had a Master’s degree, while nearly 88% had completed an undergrad degree.
Besides a STEM education, Polish developers and IT workers have sufficient knowledge of English. This allows them to seamlessly integrate into work teams across the world and makes them attractive to global firms. Poland scored 597 points according to the EF English Proficiency Index, considered to be a high level of English proficiency.
Poland is not only centrally located right at the center of Western and Eastern Europe. It is also well-positioned centrally on the world map. That allows it to access most world markets with a centralized time zone that works for teams across the world.
For individuals living across the EU, infrastructure such as rail makes it easy to work in Poland while living elsewhere. Besides that, Poland’s affordable cost of living makes it attractive to people looking to relocate from the rest of the EU.
Conducive Economic Environment
Poland’s GDP has consistently been growing, and it has the 5th largest GDP in Europe nominally. The government’s policies towards outside investments have boosted Poland’s profile. For example, the government offers tax incentives for all companies including foreign in R&D and innovation.
The government has also purposefully tried to lower overheads for companies in tech. An example of this is the special economic zones located in cities such as Wroclaw and Krakow.
A Strong VC Culture and R&D Funding
Some of the leading global companies and brands have established R&D facilities in Poland. For example, Samsung and Microsoft have R&D facilities in Warsaw. Nokia and IBM have established such facilities in Wroclaw. In Krakow, CISCO, Google, Fujitsu, and UBS have established development centers.
According to the Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2023, Poland had 14 ecosystems for tech startups ranked among the top 1000 globally. The country is home to nearly 3,000 startups, and hosts over 130 VC firms, not to mention 300+ co-working spaces. Additionally, Poland attracts over $500 million yearly in VC funding specifically targeted at tech companies.
Besides the strong VC culture and R&D facilities, Poland has also witnessed growth in tech communities. This is great for networking, collaboration, and knowledge sharing.
Safety and Quality of Life
Poland has been ranked as one of the safest countries in the EU. While located near Russia and Ukraine currently in escalation, Poland has managed to remain stable. Being a NATO member and a hub of freedom, Poland has managed to attract IT workers from Eastern European countries. This is particularly true for the Slavic and Balkan states, not to mention Georgia, Ukraine, Hungary, and Turkey.
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With all these promising ingredients, it does seem certain that Poland will continue moving up as a global and regional tech hub. This is fueled by a combo of tech talent, economic growth and stability, and a commitment to innovation, amongst others.
If you are an IT student, professional, or even a business looking to gain a foothold in the EU, Poland has everything that you need. See you on the flight to Warsaw!