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Can Egypt Meet Europe’s Tech Talent Needs?

15 May 2024

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In an era defined by rapid technological advancements and digital transformation, the demand for skilled tech talent has never been higher.

Across Europe, companies are facing significant challenges in meeting their talent needs, leading to a growing reliance on outsourcing and offshoring to address skill shortages and drive innovation.

In this article, we explore how Egypt, with its burgeoning tech ecosystem, is emerging as a viable solution to Europe's tech talent needs.

Understanding the Current Landscape

Europe's tech industry is booming, with companies across various sectors embracing digital technologies to stay competitive. However, the rapid pace of technological change has created a significant demand for specialized skills, resulting in a talent shortage in many European countries. As a result, companies are increasingly turning to outsourcing and offshoring to fill the gap and access the talent they need to grow.

For example, RTG’s Octopus division specializes in building high-performing, fully engaged tech teams for companies around the world. Our tailored tech-hub solutions provide access to top talent in a modern nearshoring setup, so you can leverage the benefits of remote work without the common limitations.

Assessing Egypt's Tech Talent Pool

How has Egypt has emerged as a promising destination for tech talent?

The country's growing tech ecosystem and young, skilled workforce are part of the answer. Factors such as the country's strong educational infrastructure, government initiatives to support the tech sector, and cultural affinity towards technology have also contributed to Egypt's rise as a hub for tech talent.

The startup scene in Egypt has exploded in recent years, with many Egyptian tech workers getting well-rounded experience in a wide range of industries.

General Manager of Robusta Technology Group's Octopus division, Mona Ibrahim, says European companies are seeking quality and value when they turn to Egypt for tech talent.

“We offer the top-notch quality with competitive pricing for employers,” she says. Government initiatives and training partnerships with companies and NGOs are “focused on enabling and educating tech talent, offering them opportunities to train and level up skills.”

For example, at the German University in Cairo, workers are closing the gap between theoretical learning and “on the job” application of that learning by focusing on real projects at partner organizations.

Four our part, Robusta and Octopus are hosting bootcamps (similar to internships) starting in July, which will offer candidates “hands-on assignments) in various technology tracks including software engineering, project management, UX and UI.

“Octopus is making it so much easier for companies to find better opportunities,” says RTG’s Marketing Manager Yasmin Reda.

500,000 tech-related students graduate from strong Egyptian technology programs every year. But they often don’t have jobs waiting for them in their home country.

“A lot of well-educated graduates find it very difficult to find jobs in Egypt,” Yasmin says. “But with technology and outsourcing, the opportunities are basically endless. They can work anywhere in the world from the comfort of home and they can stay with their families.”

Money Matters

Another benefit to hiring Egyptian tech talent is that these workers are often more cost-efficient.

“It’s more expensive to hire tech talent in Germany, for example,” Mona says.”When a German company comes to Egypt for talent and compares salaries, they often get more qualified people with the same salary or less.”

“This is one of the main reasons clients like to nearshore—they get a high caliber of talent vs. hiring in their home country.”

Egypt's Tech Talent Integrates With European Business Practices

While Egypt's tech talent pool is growing rapidly, European businesses may wonder about the quality and skill level of its workforce compared to European standards. While Egypt boasts a wealth of talent in areas such as software development, engineering, and IT , there are areas for improvement, particularly in terms of specialized skills and domain expertise.

That’s where strong partnerships are key.

RTG and Octopus work closely with our European business partners. Although we offer turnkey workforce solutions and full compliance (including payroll and employer of record services), we also integrate with our partners. Our partners have seen, time and time again , that with the right investments in education, training, and upskilling initiatives, Egypt's tech workforce has the potential to meet and even exceed European standards .

Octopus already has strong ties in Germany and Switzerland; the company’s founders have ties to The German University in Cairo, for example. And because of the international scope of Egyptian training initiatives, job candidates often have a high degree of English proficiency (meaning they integrate more seamlessly into international teams).

In fact, most workers who have completed an Egyptian technology certification or course of study is going to be conversant in English and (in some cases) German, French or another “lingua franca.”

Egypt is also attractive because European companies end up working with team members whose time zone is not all that different. Berlin and Cairo are only one hour apart, for example.

Traditional outsourcing (to places such as India or the Philippines) comes with a significant time difference that can make collaborative work difficult.

The Role of Education and Training

Education and training play a crucial role in developing a skilled tech workforce capable of meeting the demands of the digital economy. In Egypt, efforts are underway to invest in education and training programs aimed at upskilling and reskilling the workforce to meet the needs of the tech industry. Initiatives such as coding boot camps, vocational training programs, and partnerships between universities and tech companies are helping to bridge the skills gap and prepare Egypt's tech talent for the global market.

Mona says the appeal for European countries lies in the fact that “Egypt has a diversity of tech talent from public and private universities majoring in things like computer science. The second (benefit) is this tech talent with different levels of expertise and qualifications are in Cairo and throughout Egypt” and are able to work remotely. They also have exposure to a wide breadth of industries and cultures.

Opportunities for Collaboration and Partnership

Collaboration and partnership between Egyptian and European companies present exciting opportunities to address tech talent shortages and drive innovation. By leveraging Egypt's growing tech ecosystem and European companies' expertise and resources, both regions can benefit from knowledge exchange, skills transfer, and increased economic cooperation. Cross-border collaboration holds the potential to create new opportunities for growth and development while strengthening ties between the two regions.

Challenges and Considerations

Despite the potential benefits of collaboration, there are challenges and considerations to address, including cultural differences, regulatory hurdles, and logistical challenges. Building successful partnerships requires a deep understanding of each other's business practices, values, and expectations, as well as a commitment to overcoming obstacles and finding common ground. However, with perseverance and a collaborative mindset, these challenges can be overcome, paving the way for mutual success.

Egypt's growing tech ecosystem presents a compelling opportunity for collaboration and partnership to meet Europe's tech talent needs. With its young, skilled workforce, supportive government policies, and a thriving tech sector, Egypt is well-positioned to play a significant role in addressing the talent shortage in Europe and driving innovation on a global scale.

With a large pool of educated and motivated professionals, we have seen that Egypt has the potential to meet Europe's tech talent needs. By investing in education, fostering collaboration, and embracing innovation, Egypt and Europe can build a brighter future together in the digital age.

Dina Ashraf

Dina Ashraf

Senior Talent Acquisition Partner - Robusta Studio

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