Boasting cutting-edge IT infrastructure and one of the fastest-growing economies in the EU, it’s no wonder Romania is attracting investment and fostering one of the strongest startup cultures in the world.
With a government that offers enticing tax incentives to foreign companies who choose to invest in Romania-based companies, a thoroughly modern internet infrastructure boasting some of the highest speeds in the world (surpassing much of Western Europe and the US), it’s never been a better time to be joining the workforce. Economic output is expected to top 1 billion Euros by 2035, meaning there are no signs of this growth slowing any time soon.
With all that said, recent graduates are left with a big decision—where to put their skills to work. Whether an established industry like auto manufacturing or mining; or with one of the myriad crops of emerging technology startups in tech hubs like Cluj or Bucharest—rest assured you can find the right role with the right company.
We’re going to peek into 3 of the top sectors of the Romanian economy to get an idea of where they’re going and what the outlook is for those just entering the workforce in 2020.
Manufacturing in Romania: Still Going Strong
From a cost perspective, Romania ranks 2nd only to Lithuania as the most attractive place to base manufacturing operations across Europe. Rich natural resource deposits throughout the country make it a natural choice for the manufacture of everything from electrical appliances to IT equipment and automobiles. The single largest factor encouraging investment in this sector is the existence of a robust mining industry, while the single largest segment of the manufacturing sector is that of automobiles.
Ranked 10th in the world in the diversity of resources, the Romanian mining industry is thriving in today’s global market. Demand from the high tech world for Iron, Zinc, and Tungsten are strong and these elements are found in abundance here.
In addition to mining for export, many firms are electing to take advantage of those tax incentives to build new production facilities in Romania, close to the source of these highly sought after minerals. This investment is bringing jobs and commerce to the more rural areas, bringing standards of living in line with the more urban centers.
The automotive industry is expected to be responsible for exports topping 20 billion Euros by the end of 2020. Double-digit growth rates make Romania a regional leader in automotive production. Add to that the exponential growth in OEMs producing parts and accessories here (more than 600 as of 2019), and you can see how exciting the automotive sector truly is.
Recent grads in the STEM fields, geology, business, or project management will have no problem finding exciting work in any one of these aspects of the manufacturing supply chain.
Emerging Technology: A Thriving Startup Hub is Born
A unique combination of factors has led to Romania hosting one of the most exciting and robust startup cultures in Europe. First, there’s the legacy that communism left on the higher education sector. This has led to Romania turning out a higher percentage of advanced degrees in the STEM fields, as well as computer and data sciences.
Next, we come to the fact that Romania’s internet infrastructure has been put in place in only the last 15-20 years. That means no legacy network segments to drag down speeds. Romania is ranked 5th in the world for internet speeds, ahead of most of Western Europe and the US.
And third, we have the tax incentives the government has put in place in recent years to help lure investment into the country. And it’s working, with some of the biggest players in high tech coming in with money and jobs. IBM and Oracle come to mind as two of the biggest players in the world who also happen to have a strong presence in Romania.
All of this has combined to mean that IT has seen an astonishing 40-60% growth rate for more than 20 years now. When you add to that the inherent startup mindset and SME culture that has been alive and well throughout Central Europe for decades and you start to see how Bucharest and Cluj have become the centers of tech incubation that they are.
Biotechnology: Taking Advantage of a Highly Educated Workforce
Many of the same factors that have fed the emerging tech startup sector have also had an impact on the emergence of a thriving biotechnology industry here in Romania. The Communist legacy of excellence in the sciences means that to this day, Romanian universities are turning out highly skilled and trained mathematicians, biologists, bio-statisticians, and every other segment of the STEM fields.
On top of that, nearly 90% of these graduates are fluent in English making them a sought-after commodity for international firms looking to gain a foothold in this market. The fully modern IT infrastructure and blazing fast internet speeds along with those tax incentives are helping to bring top-tier research and development facilities as well.
It’s gotten to the point where the market of available talent is having a hard time keeping up, so some companies have taken to importing talent to fill in the gaps. These workers come from neighboring countries who might not have the same level of development in this field, and being part of the EU makes working in Romania a good prospect.
There has never been a better time to be joining the modern workforce in Romania. No matter your field of expertise or degree area, you are certain to be able to find your ideal role with the right company. Romania is poised to be not only a major regional player but a player on the world scene. Investment is rolling in, leading to both Bucharest and Cluj being referred to as “the Silicon Valley of Central Europe.” Startups and established SMEs alike are having an impact on this local growth and are beginning to influence the world stage as well.