Looking for IT specialists with“itchy feet”? Go to Bulgaria! Arecent poll among youngBulgarian ITs aged 23-29showed every other specialist is“willing to consider workingabroad for a certain period”.Recent EU accession of Bulgaria(2007) and liberalisation oflabour market for Bulgarianemployees are but a few of thefactors leading to this shift inattitude.Some 50% of Bulgaria’syoung IT specialists arewilling to gointernational.
Due to the easy and abundant access to Most of the globalqualiﬁed employees in IT, Bulgaria has been leaders in IT have stronga preferred outsourcing destination for the operations in BulgariaIT industry for a decade now.Excellent performance of the local branchesjustiﬁed expansion and the transfer ofgrowingly important business to Bulgaria.HP (2000 people), CSC (600 people), SAPLabs (500 people), vmware (300 people) etc.have all expanded their operations in recentyears, providing local IT professionals withmore know-how, more training opportuni-ties and more corporate culture touchpoints.With greater exposure to internationalprojects, Bulgarian IT experts expand notonly their portfolios, but also their horizonsand mentality, making them more ﬁt forassignments and employment abroad.
Bulgaria boasts tradition-ally strong performanceand gold medalists fromthe InternationalInformatics Olympiads High-school education in Informatics is considered to be quite elite and is much sought after by teenagers. The Bulgarian school of Informatics has very strong traditions and boasts a long line of prizes and medals from the Informatics Olympiads and other international test of competence and proﬁciency in computer science. Bulgaria is also one of the founders of the Informatics Olympiad initiative and the only country to have hosted twice the games for teenage IT talents - the ﬁrst games in history, back in 1989, as well as the 21-st edition, in 2009.
Hackers? No: future creative IT specialistsBulgaria tops every possible Internet piracy list in the world, which, of course, is avery bad thing. However, there’s one positive side to it - Bulgarian teenagers learnfrom their early teens not to take ‘no’ for an answer. In other words, impossible isnothing, indeed. Luckily, once they go to university and get a more mature view oflife, IT geeks put their hacker history behind. But the creative usage of digital tech-nology and the path-ﬁnding attitude has by then instilled in their genes. Many of themost successful IT entrepreneurs in Bulgaria confess having hacking experience intheir younger years. You say “Damn hackers!”. We say “Give them some time...” :-)
ICT expenditure in Bulgariais with 30% higher than theaverage for middle-incomeEuropean countriesICT has been a top-3 priority for the last three governments of Bulgaria (all fromdiﬀerent political parties, by the way). So, ICT is not probably the only consensuspoint, but also one that surely goes forward and pays oﬀ.A recent World Bank global report* shows ICT expenditure in Bulgaria rising to 6.5%of GDP. This ratio is 1/3 greater than the average spending rates for all middle-income countries in Europe, higher than that of the Euro area (5.2%) and equal tothat of IT “miracles” as Finland (6.5%). *The Little Databook on Information and Communication Technology 2010
Soﬁa is one of the top 10cities in the world bybroadband InternetaccessBeing well-wired is a keyprerequisite for IT development.Soﬁa, the capital of Bulgaria,boasts one of the best broad-band Internet connections inthe world, giving both upstartIT specialists and well-established businesses the vitaladvantage of high-speed,high-quality connectivity.
IT science traditions in During the communist regime BulgariaBulgaria date back to the was the only country in the Soviet block1960-ies. that developed micro-electronics at consumer level. Bulgarian-made PCs have been developed and produced since the early 80-ies of the 20th century, under the brand of Pravets. This gave Bulgarian hardware and software industry its ﬁrst major boost, taking the know-how and experience of local specialists to world-class level.
57% more Bulgarianstudents enrolled incomputer science majors in2009, as compared to 2001Diﬀerent technology majors (incl.Information Technology andElectronics) are the second mostfavoured ﬁeld of study for Bulgar-ian university students. More than1/4 of all Bulgarian studentsgraduate as engineers.This number beats humanitarian& liberal arts majors by more than2 times. Technology majors arealso the top choice for post-graduate studies (16% of all Ph.D.students).