Romania has among the best engineers from around the world working right now on projects such as Big Data, which can gather valuable information for retailers and not only, but the Romanian school can not boast that it is its merit and, further, the level living in Romania is not attractive enough to keep them in the country.

Adrian Nicolae, Executive Director of ALTEN Romania, talks about the potential of young Romanian engineers and what super-projects are being developed in our country in an interview given to

Is it true that young people in Romania have great potential, both in the field of engineering and research or IT? Or is it a myth and, in fact, the whole new generation (regardless of the country) has such inclinations by virtue of the technological era in which it was born?

It is certainly a reality that young people everywhere are digital natives and that they do an excellent job of incorporating technology into their lives.

At the same time, the future of the workforce is changing rapidly, and the Future of Jobs report, published by the World Economic Forum in 2020, showed a significant increase in demand for jobs. IT and engineering work.

This means that those students who today strive to develop their technological skills will have a privileged position in the future, learning skills that will be directly relevant to the industries and careers of the future - from artificial intelligence, to blockchain and machine learning, all the elements that cause seismic changes in the way companies and society as a whole function.

That being said, it is equally true that Romania, due to a combination of factors, has had a strong advance in this direction.

In recent years, our country is recognized as the most important IT center in the region and is growing rapidly - according to ANIS figures , if in 2015, the turnover of the software and IT services sector amounted to 3 , 08 billion euros, in 2019, it had doubled to a total value of 5.9 billion euros.

In practice, this dynamic means that, every year, more and more IT companies choose to open local centers, attracted by the fact that here they find talented, ambitious and open young people to improve and learn new and new technologies.

Cumulatively, this means that, although young people from all continents have a natural inclination towards technology, Romania already has the competitive advantage of a young workforce with recognized skills.

Do you see any difference, when hiring, between engineers trained in Romania and those trained in other countries?

In 2019, the contribution of the IT & C industry to the formation of GDP was 6%, with a turnover of almost 6 billion euros, and according to the data of the National Bank quoted by ANIS, the exports of IT & C services doubled in 2018 compared to 2013, at a record value of 4.5 billion euros.

These impressive figures are the result of the work of industry specialists, whose very good training, which also overlaps with their knowledge of foreign languages, makes them extremely competitive not only at European level, but also globally.

We have, without a doubt, some of the best IT engineers and specialists in the world.

However, we feel that the Romanian school is adapting relatively slowly to the realities of the world in which we live.

At the moment, a recent graduate from Romania who makes his first contact with the work environment needs extra time and effort to become autonomous and productive.

We have seen, in practice, cases in which young people trained in other countries integrate much faster into the environment in which we operate.
Therefore, I believe that just as the business environment is forced to constantly adapt in order to remain successful, so universities and the entire education system should take concrete steps to adapt to the typology of today's young people.

Are the salaries in Romania for engineers as attractive as the salaries they would receive in other countries?

The data of the National Institute of Statistics indicate, at least in recent years, that employees in the IT and engineering industry have among the highest average salaries in Romania.

This is a natural consequence for two industries that are growing in the country and where the demand for specialists is three times higher than the supply.

Salaries vary depending on specializations and level of experience, so a comparison cannot be made as an absolute value between Romania and other markets.

In addition, when we take into account the living costs in those countries (rents, shopping cart, etc.), the differences in earnings are almost non-existent.

That is why, many times, we see that Romanians working in the IT industry decide to move to another country for non-salary reasons, such as career opportunities there or living standards.

Engineers from Romania conceive projects as advanced like those in other European countries?

As we mentioned earlier, in terms of knowledge and skills, engineers in Romania are no better than those in other western countries, perhaps quite the opposite.

The projects they work on and their complexity are not necessarily related to their preparation, but especially to the clients served by local companies and their needs.

Within ALTEN Romania, for example, we have teams that develop software solutions dedicated to the daily activities of customers, but we also have teams dedicated to R & D, an area of ‚Äč‚Äčtechnological innovation by definition.

Thus, some of our employees work on projects that we will see on the streets in 3-5 years and do a fantastic job .

How is Romania in terms of innovation in engineering?

Due to the highly qualified workforce, projects are delivered in Romania at the highest level.

In our case, the R&D part is extremely dynamic, even in difficult times, of crisis, and pushes our employees to constantly innovate.

It is practically their responsibility to develop, for the future, new, alternative, efficient and viable solutions for highly competitive industries, such as the automotive industry.

Personally, I see a lot of potential in this area and I hope that the projects carried out in recent months will convince the big companies in the world to gain more and more confidence in Romania and either increase existing investments or contribute new investments.

I expect that the fast pace of digitization will allow the cancellation of physical distances and lead to a flexibility of processes never seen before.

I think that if these two trends materialize, we could see important opportunities for us, as a country and a company.

What super-projects are the experts at this time working on within your company?

For several years now, Big Data has been discussed in business context - companies are beginning to have huge amounts of data at their disposal, extracted from extremely different sources, which, capitalized correctly, can be an important competitive advantage in a world that it changes so fast.

Big Data is one of the most important catalysts for change globally, and data science, ie the correct handling and exploitation of these large volumes of data, is a skill highly sought after by customers.

That is why, if I were to talk about an "super-project" from ALTEN at present, I would mention a Data Science project.

It is a complex project, which aims to identify the products preferred by customers starting from vast and very disparate information such as origin - databases, emails, social media.

My colleagues now develop programs that take all this data and organize it, creating structured databases, which can then be applied statistical algorithms that allow the classification of products according to preferences.

This kind of project represents the future for the development of retail customers and I am very proud that we have the right local specialists to support it.

Published by