Wednesday, 24 August 2022

Osijek Software City - Best Place on the Planet for Family Life

August 24, 2022 - Nathan arrived in Osijek from Arizona via Colorado and Prague. Not only did he find a job there, but also what he calls the ideal place for family life. The Osijek Software City movement is slowly, but surely coming to life.

As RTL writes, Osijek is a city where IT companies produce good software. Where do you acquire the necessary knowledge and skills for that? Where are the educated and motivated workers employed in quality and promising companies? This is how the objectives of the Osijek Software City project were presented, were they achieved?

Ten years from the first vision of Osijek as a regional IT center, and seven years until the first company in the IT park. The story of Osijek Software City unfolded slowly.

“It went slowly and it was difficult, but now it's going faster and faster”, Denis, one of the initiators of this story, told RTL. Better cooperation with universities will create the necessary IT specialists and scholarship programs with the City and the County that will attract young people.

“For us, this current pool of young people is no longer enough to turn Osijek into a true center of the IT industry, and we will really need to attract and import a lot of foreign students”, says Denis Sušac, director of the IT company.

Nathan arrived in Osijek from Arizona via Colorado and Prague. Not only did he find a job there, but also what he calls the ideal place for family life.

“Osijek could be one of the best cities on the planet for family life”, said Nathan Chappell, a developer.

The family spirit is present in the workplace, and his family is also helping him learn the Croatian language.

Ivana, on the other hand, studied languages, but after finishing her studies, she felt that it was not her life's calling.

“And then, little by little, I started poking around in IT to see what was there and what I was really interested in and I came across this testing”, said Ivana Belak, software tester.

She didn't want to leave Croatia and rather wanted to find the job she desired here, and that, she says, came true.

“We think that today young people can live very well working in Osijek, without leaving, and this trend of going to Ireland, Sweden, Germany is slowly coming to a halt”, claims Sušac.

The number of IT people in Osijek is growing. The goal of recognising Osijek as a city where IT experts live and work is becoming closer, and without their skills life is almost unimaginable today.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 7 December 2021

Croatian IT Industry Growing Also in Pandemic, Seeking Strategic Status

ZAGREB, 7 Dec, 2021 - Croatia's IT industry has shown resilience also in the current pandemic, and in 2020 it saw revenues in the amount of HRK 28 billion and grew, though less than in 2019, going up by 3.3%. It is also looking for the status of a strategic branch considering its importance for all sectors, an analysis shows.

The analysis of the IT sector, made by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK), was presented on Tuesday.

"The IT industry in Croatia employs 35,000 people or 6% more than in 2019, with the average wage having risen to around HRK 9,000, which is 60% above the average net wage in the business sector. In 2020 IT covered 5,700 companies, up 4% from 2019, which were important for digital transformation and social development. The industry could achieve more if the state improved the institutional framework and declared it a strategic branch," HGK Vice-President for Industries and Sustainable Development Tomislav Radoš said.

In that regard, expectations from a review of the Smart Specialisation Strategy are great in the sense that it could help enhance the status of the IT industry and make it even more active in digitalisation. Three more months are left to complete the review after which we can use it in negotiations with the European Commission about money from EU funds and other matters, Radoš said.

He noted that slightly more than HRK 9 billion or 32.5% of the 2020 revenue in the IT industry were exports, an increase of one billion kuna or 13% from 2019.

The State Secretary at the Economy and Sustainable Development Ministry, Mile Horvat, said that in 2022, in addition to the review of the Smart Specialisation Strategy, also expected was the adoption of a national plan for digital transformation and artificial intelligence. IT is also an important part of the National Development Strategy for the period until 2030, he added.

Share of IT in GDP 2.5%; new jobs constantly created

The HGK analysis shows that the share of the IT industry in GDP in 2020 grew to 2.5% despite the pandemic, as well as that it keeps creating new jobs, having opened 11,000 jobs in the past five years (including 2020), with 2020 alone seeing an increase in the number of new jobs of around 2,000 compared to 2019.

Most or 55% of employees in the IT industry work in IT companies that provide services, while 28.4% work in prepackaged software manufacturers and more than 6% each work with equipment and software retailers and with outsourcing providers.

Zagreb has a dominant role in the IT industry, accounting for almost 78% or HRK 21.7 billion of the revenue in the IT sector in 2020. It is followed by Istria County, with a share of 5% in the total revenue, and Zagreb County, with a share of 3%.

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