Low salary and lack of career development are some of the reasons why a large number of European IT specialists are looking to leave their current jobs before the end of the year, and which could lead to a mass exodus, new study has said.

An extensive new study into the EMEA region’s tech and IT talent market from Hays, a world-leading specialist in workforce solutions and recruitment, has discovered a potential impending mass exodus of tech talent from Europe.

Europe has become a key source of IT talent for companies with presence in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, particularly data, infrastructure, and cybersecurity specialists from Eastern and Southern Europe.

Hays new study and report ‘The Tech Talent Explorer’ is a result of surveying more than 5,000 IT specialists across 20 EMEA countries.

The report details the reasons why they are looking to leave, and ways in which Middle Eastern companies can attract these professionals to make the move to the Middle East.

Key Findings

34% of all European tech professionals to leave their jobs this year, the five main reasons being ‘salary too low’, ‘lack of development opportunities’, ‘lack of career progression to date’, ‘lack of long-term opportunities’, and ‘role is not challenging enough’.

Data & analytics professionals the most likely to leave their jobs this year (36%), followed by software development professionals (34%). The least likely group is cloud computing specialists (28%).

22% of tech specialists in the Middle East are expecting a salary increase of 20% or more this year. Less than 10% of tech specialists in Europe are expecting such an increase.

For a network engineer, the average salary across the Middle East is 74,900 euro ($81,070). In Czechia this is just 31,000 euro and in Spain this is just 33,000 euro.

For a data engineer, the average salary across the Middle East is 90,000 euro. In Italy this is just 45,750 euro and in Portugal just 48,000 euro.

For a security engineer, the average salary in the GCC (except KSA) is 105,000 euro and in the KSA it is 90,000 euro. In Hungary this is just 39,000 euro and in Spain 44,200 euro.

For a DevOps engineer (cloud infrastructure), the average salary is 90,000 euro in the KSA itself and 100,500 euro in the GCC excluding KSA. In Hungary the average salary is just 45,000 euro, and in Italy 47,000.

For a software architect, the average salary in the KSA itself is 105,000 euro and in the GCC (except KSA) its 120,000 euro. In Czech this is just 62,500 euro, and in Italy and France it is just 64,000 euro.

Across the whole of EMEA, the top company attraction factors for tech professionals are ‘good work atmosphere’, ‘remote work’, and ‘challenging roles or projects’.

56% of tech professionals in the Middle East are using AI, more than in any European country. AI is a key area that tech specialists want to develop – 82% of all EMEA tech professionals desire AI training.

Eamonn Hart, Senior Manager – Technology at Hays Middle East, said: “This new data offers lots of encouragement for companies in the Middle East looking for tech talent and shows that the second half of 2024 will be a key time for hiring from Europe as so many professionals will be open to new opportunities.

“It is well known that salaries tend to be higher in the UAE and KSA, which is obviously an attraction for tech specialists in lower-paying European countries, but this report offers new insights as to other ways that Middle Eastern companies can attract this talent, for example by highlighting AI initiatives and progression plans.” – TradeArabia News Service

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