For many years, ever since the 1980s, Bulgaria has been considered Eastern Europe’s “Silicon Valley”. And the reasons for this are plentiful. Having specialist mathematical high schools and university IT programs, there are over 3,500 IT graduates who enter the market each year.
These specialists are adept at programs and programing languages including but not limited to Java, PHP, C#, Ruby, iOS, Unity, html, .Net, and many others. As a result of the 15+ colleges and universities offering top-class education in the IT space, Bulgaria is indeed becoming a major global contender for IT talent. As a result, it shouldn’t be overlooked for corporations’ IT outsourcing needs.
To find out more about the IT industry in Bulgaria and the factors that contribute to the country’s attractiveness as an IT outsourcing destination, keep reading below.
A quick snapshot at the industry
As mentioned above, around 3,500 IT graduates graduate from various specialist Bulgarian universities each year. This means that the number of IT professionals, which was recently placed at around 24,000, is rising rapidly each year with new specialists entering the workforce. As a result of this vast talent pool, there are over 400 IT companies with numerous major international IT companies moving their operations to Bulgaria.
Consequently, Bulgaria has become the world’s 8th top destination for IT professionals calculated by the number of IT professionals in the world. But in addition to this, Bulgaria was recently ranked as the fifth Top Outsourcing country in the world and first in Eastern Europe as an ideal location to set up operations. Furthermore, Bulgaria was ranked ninth top country and again, the first destination in Eastern Europe for providing “outsourcing activities, including IT services and support, contact centres and back-office support”.
Reasons to outsource your IT needs to Bulgaria
Given the above, it’s clear that Bulgaria is a top destination of choice for many multinational and international IT corporations. And here are some reasons why:
- Top university education: Bulgaria’s education system, particularly in the IT sphere, is highly competitive and produces specialist cadres in the IT field. Whether Ruby or .Net, you can find experts in practically any programing language with varying rates of previous experience. These experts are thoroughly trained and are considered ready to enter the work force once they graduate. And the high number of IT companies that already have a presence in Bulgaria, actively compete for this talent.
- Low labor costs: Bulgaria also offers much lower labor costs in comparison to the US and Western European markets for IT specialists. This cost advantage can be compared through a practical example. For instance, in the US, an average IT specialist’s annual salary would be in the region of $127,000.00 whereas in Bulgaria this would be around $75,000.00 per year. As a result, this makes outsourcing to Bulgaria highly competitive and affordable at the same time.
- Low staff attrition: a further important characteristic of the Bulgarian IT sector is the low levels of staff attrition. Staff attrition is broadly defined as the loss of employees in an organization owing to factors such as resignations, death, retirement, and more. Bulgaria’s employment landscape, however, is considered stable, and companies are doing quite a lot to retain their top talent. As a result of these attractive work conditions, staff attrition levels are low.
- Stable currency: the Bulgarian currency is pegged to the Euro, which is one of the world’s most stable currencies. As a result, there is little to no fluctuations in currency movements and this means that organizations can better plan and forecast their revenues, turnover, and profitability.
- English language competencies: since English is the internal company language in many organizations in Bulgaria, there are very few if any language barriers when an IT professional begins working for a multinational or international IT organization in Bulgaria. This means that there are fewer errors that can be committed due to miscommunication or less-than-adequate understanding of the English language, which is considered an international language in many markets.
- Cultural proximity to US and EU markets: in addition to the above, cultural factors cannot be ignored when outsourcing. In some countries, culture plays a decisive role in whether a company will be successful when entering the new market. However, with close cultural proximity to the US and Western European markets, Bulgaria’s cultural landscape is considered conducive as opposed to hindering of high quality output and strong work ethic.
- Suitable time zone: as a final point in our analysis, we also look at the suitable time zone that Bulgaria falls into. It is a few hours (two at most) ahead of its Western European counterparts, which means that work can be carried out almost simultaneously as organizations in the western part of the continent. As for the US, working in Bulgaria during the day means that an American corporation can have 24-hour staff on hand to ensure better customer service, enabling it to remain more competitive.
The final verdict: Choose Bulgaria for all your IT needs
Bulgaria is strategically geographically positioned to meet a number of IT needs for multiple IT corporations around the world. It falls in a highly suitable time zone and the economic landscape and democratic processes make the country stable to invest in. Furthermore, the high levels of talent that emerge from top-tier IT universities and colleges around the country make it one of the top destinations in Eastern Europe for IT services.
The country has consistently ranked high for IT performance globally and the government incentives for the IT sector mean that foreign investment is highly encouraged with a high potential for strong returns. Overall, Bulgaria is a highly attractive IT destination and should not be overlooked as you consider expanding and outsourcing your IT needs to a stable nation with a vast talent pool.
And if you are wondering where to source this talent, why not take a look at StorsenDigital’s Experts, who are available and at your disposal at a single click of a button? We have an extensive range of IT specialists who can help meet your unique business needs. What’s more is that with multiple business and talent sourcing solutions, we are perfectly positioned to help take your enterprise to the next level in terms of performance and output. Get in touch with us!