Ukrainian IT brain drain: where IT professionals go, and why they leave

IT Ukraine

Image: Hubs,  


Article by: Espreso.TV
Editor’s Note
Surveying 8,117 Ukrainian IT professionals, the popular Ukrainian online IT community found that 4% of the poll participants had already emigrated from Ukraine and 9% were going to relocate, 43% of IT professionals were considering the possibilities of going abroad while 34% had no such plans and 8% were going to stay in Ukraine for sure, and another 2% returned home after their work abroad:

Ukrainian IT emigration moods. Infographic:, translated by Euromaidan Press.

Click the image to enlarge it. Infographic:, translated by Euromaidan Press.

In October, polled 1,633 IT specialists who had moved abroad. 90% of participants were former residents of Ukraine. Here are the findings of the poll.

The majority of IT specialists who have left Ukraine currently live in Poland (26%), Germany (19%), the USA (13%) and the Netherlands (6%).

This is according to the results of a survey from DOU, popular Ukrainian portal for Ukrainian IT professionals.

In the previous 5 years, the tendency of experienced and qualified IT specialists to leave Ukraine has only grown.

The majority of those who responded to the questionnaire left Ukraine not long ago: 19% emigrated less than a year ago, 38% have lived outside the country for between 1 and 2 years, and 35% left between 3 and 5 years ago. Only 8% of participants in the survey left Ukraine longer than 5 years ago.

Infographic:, translated by Euromaidan Press.

Infographic:, translated by Euromaidan Press.

47% of the respondents who left more than 5 years ago have not yet reached 25 years of age. 16% of them are still studying or are studying while working, and 12% did not work in IT before they left Ukraine. Thus they were either students, or had just begun to work. Among those who left less than 5 years ago, only 24% were younger than 25 years of age.

The largest age cohort of those who left Ukraine in the last 5 years consists of people between 26 and 30 years of age (42% of respondents). Those between 31 and 35 years old form nearly a quarter of the respondents. Only 6% are still studying or began to work only after leaving the country. Only 2% began to work in IT only after leaving the country.

Of those who left longer than 5 years ago, 70% actively and independently searched for means to emigrate, and of these, about half (34% of the overall sample) were relocated by the companies they worked for. This influenced which countries the IT specialists moved to: of those who left longer than 5 years ago, most left for Western countries – the USA, Germany, or the Netherlands. In more recent years IT specialists have emigrated primarily to Central Europe: Poland mostly, followed by Lithuania and Estonia.

Infographic:, translated by Euromaidan Press.

Infographic:, translated by Euromaidan Press.

The principal reason for leaving has been revealed to be a desire for a peaceful and secure life for oneself and one’s family (62%). The second most-frequently cited reason was a desire to live in another country and another culture (58%).

Only 5% of respondents had a strong desire to return to their homelands. 19% of those asked said they definitely would not return to their country and 42% would prefer not to return. 26% had not decided whether or not to return.

IT jobs

Infographic:, translated by Euromaidan Press.

More than 90% of the respondents are IT specialists from Ukraine, but among the remaining less-than-10% are some IT specialists from Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan.


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Translated by: Peter Koropey

Edited by: Yuri Zoria


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