Many US and European companies have found it easier to work with developers and outsourcing companies in Ukraine than with other traditional outsource countries because of Ukraine’s close alignment to European cultural ideals, values, norms and mentalities. Additionally, Ukrainians have a well-earned reputation for being able to do the hard work required, no matter what the job.
This cultural alignment has been a key driver (along with the table stakes of getting the job done) behind the accelerating growth of certain spheres of the economy – particularly in IT and manufacturing.
The younger generation of Ukrainians don’t differ greatly from their counterparts across Europe – they are democratic, modern, hard-working, tolerant, creative and resourceful. The additional boost found in Ukrainian employees is a drive for growth that comes from the desire to see Ukraine integrated into the global economy and dialogue.
There is a demarcation between the younger generations of Ukrainians and those who grew up under the USSR and this is playing a part in the trajectory of future growth for Ukraine. As the older generations step back from government and business, younger generations are filling new roles. With their western-looking outlook, they are driving change across the board – from entrepreneurial ventures to civil activism; from politics to fashion – in ways previously not seen in Ukraine.
Ukraine has population of 45 million people, a 99.4 literacy rate and a mandatory 11 years of schooling. Over 70% of people have a secondary degree or higher education.
One of the better legacies that the Soviet Union left behind was the emphasis on the importance of education. In Ukraine, this desire for education has continued and maintains a strong emphasis on areas that are currently driving global economic growth – particularly in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
As a result, Ukraine is the TOP European country by the number of engineering graduates, with over 130,000 new engineers each year.
There are approximately 16,000 IT graduates each year and Ukraine is home to the largest engineering force in Central and Eastern Europe.
Over 33,500 students graduate yearly in the area of Sciences.
(source: World Economic Forum, Forbes)
Ukraine is a country of many languages. Since 2014, use of the Ukrainian language has increased – especially among the younger generation – reflecting an increased pride in the country and its unique history and culture.
Generally, daily conversations can be in Ukrainian or Russian, as most Ukrainians are fluent in both languages.
In addition to Ukrainian and Russian, many Ukrainians speak other languages as well, reflecting the influence of culture and trade from some of its neighboring countries. In the West of Ukraine, Polish, Hungarian and Romanian can be heard; in Odesa, conversations can be heard in Turkish and Hebrew.
Additionally, there has been a marked increase in the number of people speaking English in Ukraine. This correlates with the increased interest in closer social and economic ties with Europe, and a preference for Western values and culture.
10 years ago, it was hard to find English speaking employees. Today, Ukraine is ranked 41st for proficiency in English by Education First.