Greek Geeks flee economic Thermopylae

King Leonidas & Dead 300 Spartans at ThermopylaeGreek developers are fleeing the country in droves, fed up with working for companies were they are not paid for six months.

According to ZDNET  they are headed away from their homeland and into other countries which can actually pay them.

One developer said that in the last three years, almost 80 percent of his friends, mostly developers, left Greece.

From a developer’s perspective, the choice is simple one: an experienced Java or a C++ specialist can earn up to three times their Greek salary and will be paid according to what their contract states rather than what suits the employer.

An Endeavour study estimates that 200,000 Greeks below the age of 35 have left the country between 2010 and 2013. Most of them are “highly educated and skilled,” the report says, with medical, finance, and ICT among the sectors seeing the biggest brain drains.

They are leaving behind only those IT professionals who have families with children, need to take care of their aging parents, or they simply haven’t got the chance to leave the country.

Half of those that have already left the country don’t plan on returning in the near future, a study conducted by ICAP Group involving over 1,300 Greeks working abroad found.

The reasons being cited for leaving is the lack of meritocracy and the corruption in the country, mentioned by 37 percent of those interviewed for the ICAP study. Second is the absence of suitable jobs (35 percent): Others quote the economic crisis and the need to seek better development prospects (each mentioned by 33 percent of respondents).

Meanwhile it is set to get worse. Seven out of ten university graduates in Greece would like to work abroad, while one in ten is actively seeking a job overseas or plans to continue their education there, thinking that they’ll have access to other job markets, a Kapa Research study showed.

Most Greek IT professionals who decide to build their future somewhere else pick European countries such as the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. Others look farther afield, to the US or even Australia.