There are 39 260 students enrolled in universities and colleges and 8351 pupils in vocational high schools. Those were spread amongst 7 universities, 2 colleges and 34 vocational high schools.
According to а recent survey in Plovdiv population aged 19-35 have the
following education level:
- 47 855 people have secondary education and have finished vocational or general high schools;
- 27 879 people have college or university degree;
- 13 811 people have primary or lower education.
Source: Pragmatica, NSIWith its well-developed educational infrastructure, Plovdiv serves as a regional education center for specialization in classes and degrees, which are of top priority for the outsourcing firms. Foreign languages like English, German and French are very intensively studied. Some of the degrees offered by universities in Plovdiv are:
Technical University - Sofia, Plovdiv branchComputer Systems and Technologies; Automation, Information and Control Systems; Graphic Design and Printing
Plovdiv UniversitySoftware Technology and Design; Mathematics and Informatics; Applied Mathematics
Academy of Music, Dance & Fine Arts in PlovdivGraphic design and photography; Multimedia and virtual reality
People aged 19-35 who speak one or more foreign languages are about 45,500
in Plovdiv, of which:
- 38.000 people speak only one language;
- Some 6.000 people speak two foreign languages;
- About 1.500 people speak more than two foreign languages.
The most popular language among them is undeniably English - about half of the participants are competent in it. In terms of reading and speaking, individuals determine their level of proficiency as very good. With an above average score people assess their knowledge in terms of writing in English.
People who use German (7.5 %) and Russian (5.7%) are similar in proportion and the level of proficiency in both languages is generally high. Much less popular among the target group are French, Spanish and Italian - the proportion of people who speak one of these languages is between 1-3 %.
Generally, the level of language proficiency corresponds with a better understanding of dialects and usage of proper accent. That being said, there is no data that supports the fact that there is trouble with dialects or strength of accent of the served language among the people from Plovdiv.
Representatives of the target group, who speak foreign languages, for the most part self-assess themselves with a high degree of knowledge of the relevant languages, which in most cases is due to the fact that they have studied in specialized language schools. Taking into consideration the fact that the foreign language was taught as one of the subjects in the high school curriculum, it is not surprising that a significant proportion of people do not hold a certificate explicitly stating their knowledge of the foreign language - the lowest is the share in those who speak German, and highest in those who are fluent in Russian.
Being the second largest city in Bulgaria and the biggest city in the South-Central Region, Plovdiv plays a very important role as a regional education hub. The high demand for highly qualified labor in the outsourcing sector sets the base for tight collaboration between educational institutions and outsourcing
companies. For the successful positioning of a firm in this sector it is important that it is successful in the sourcing of personnel. In this regard, sources of personnel for companies are often directly high schools. For the realization of this in Plovdiv helps the presence of secondary schools, which have traditions in offering a very high level of education. Among the elite schools operating in the city are: Mathematics High School, Foreign-languages high school (with emphasis on English and German), French Language school, National High School of Commerce. Many employees in companies requiring high-level
language skills or highly developed analytical and mathematical skills have graduated in these schools.
Regional education hub similar to the cooperation with high schools is the partnership between outsourcing firms and universities represented in the city. Traditions in the preparation of good mathematicians and programmers have Plovdiv University and Technical University - Sofia, Plovdiv branch. As a plus for many professionals working with images and design are skills in art and thus, another example for cooperation between representatives from the industry and universities is the Academy of Music, Dance and Fine Arts in Plovdiv. A good practice is the application of workflow elements in the educational program. Many of the firms operating here select their staff in early stages of higher education. It has proven that this type of partnership is extremely beneficial for the training of personnel with adequate and modern skills.