High demand for employees in Czech IT sector leads to impressive wage growth

With around 14,000 current vacancies, domestic supply seems unable to meet demand for IT professionals in the Czech Republic.

 William Nattrass

Written by William Nattrass
Published on 29.09.2021 12:20 (updated on 30.09.2021)

The Czech Republic’s IT sector is among the most dynamic in Europe. The country has seen an influx of foreign companies in recent years due to a favorable investment environment, while local players are among the world’s most renowned technology companies.

A problem is now emerging, though, as the growth of the sector outstrips the domestic supply of IT professionals, leading to a spike in wages and rich pickings for job seekers.

According to a survey conducted by Coding Bootcamp Prague and Techloop, the IT sector now employs over 316,000 people. Around 79 percent of companies are now struggling to find suitable candidates when looking for new IT specialists. Responses to job adverts are often many times lower than in other sectors.

The high demand for top-level professionals has led to impressive wage growth. Senior developers can earn up to CZK 200,000 a month, while the average salary is CZK 68,000, almost double the national average. Entry-level jobs usually pay around CZK 40,000 a month, but the dynamism of the IT industry can lead to quick advancement for skilled employees.

“There are several reasons causing the supply of positions to be many times higher than the availability of workers. The biggest is the low number of university graduates, coupled with the growing demand for IT workers due to digitalization. Another reason may be the relatively demanding retraining required for IT positions,” said Techloop co-founder Andrew Elliott.

It is thought the high earning potential of IT freelancers also contributes to the difficulty which companies face when attempting to fill positions. Freelancers can earn an average of CZK 450 to CZK 800 per hour.

The Covid pandemic forced many businesses to radically accelerate their adoption of digital technologies. At the same time, a number of companies are only now restarting IT development projects which were postponed due to the pandemic. In June, the International Data Corporation (IDC) predicted growth of 3.7 percent for the Czech IT sector in 2021.

Growth in the sector, coupled with a shortage of domestic employees, may force companies to look abroad for professionals to help drive their new projects forward. The potential for foreign employees to fill the significant labor gap confronting the Czech economy more generally is being discussed at the highest levels of government: Prime Minister Andrej Babiš recently suggested the working visa requirements for foreign nationals in the Czech Republic should be relaxed.

Another potential solution could be the greater representation of women in the IT sector. IT has long been a male-dominated industry worldwide, though, meaning greater gender balance is unlikely to serve as a short-term fix. Still, as the Czech technology sector thrives in the post-pandemic era, life as an IT professional is only likely to become more attractive for workers in the Czech Republic.

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