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3 out of 4 Russians seeking IT jobs see better prospects abroad

Among IT job seekers living in Moscow and St. Petersburg, 55% contemplate leaving the country, while 22% have already taken some concrete steps in that direction.

Another 6% do not intend to leave because they do not believe they will find a job abroad, according to a recent poll by Ancor, a major recruitment company operating in Russia and some CIS countries.

The results of the poll report that just 17% of the respondents “believe in the development of the Russian IT industry” and intend to stay in the country for this reason.

Ancor explains these results by the fact that jobs abroad are perceived as more stable and better paying, offering more attractive career prospects.

Five hundred fifty job seekers — 84% from Moscow — participated in the Ancor poll. Among them were technical support and information security specialists, consultants, and sales people. Just 9% were high-ranking employees.

Answering a question about what company they dream of working for, some of the respondents mentioned such companies as Google, Microsoft, IBM, Yandex, Sochi 2014, Cisco, SAP, Apple, and HP, but 52% named no company.

From emigration intentions to reality

According to another poll published last week by VTsIOM, the Russian Public Opinion Research Center, 22% of Russians would like to leave the country and live abroad. The percentage is as high as 33% among active Internet users — who represent approximately 50 million people — and 39% among those aged between 18 and 24.

Emigration intentions should be considered cautiously, warns Alexey Grazhdankin of Levada Center, another poll institute. A large portion of those declaring an intention to emigrate may be expressing dissatisfaction with their situation rather than a real intention.

No more than 5% of the respondents of such polls actually do something concrete to emigrate, Grazhdankin told Russian business daily Vedomosti.

The actual number of Russian citizens leaving their country has been subject to a wide variety of estimates. Valentina Vedeneyeva of the Institute for World Economics and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences told Vedomosti that as many as 1.4 million people emigrated over the last three years, while federal state statistics service Rosstat reported just 105,554 for all of 2008, 2009 and 2010.

Emigration among the business and scientific elite

The inclination to emigrate is especially widespread among the Russian business elite. Many spend part of their time in a second or holiday home in a Western European country — sometimes regarding it as a first step to permanently leaving Russia.

London is a popular destination. According to various estimates, the city has given residence to several hundred thousand Russians, including hundreds of millionaires and some billionaires.

In an interview with the Ekho Moskvy radio station earlier this year, chairman of the Russian Court of Auditors Sergey Stepashin counted 1,250,000 million Russian “scientists and specialists” working abroad, Vedomosti reported.

Emigration by the elite diminishes the demand for political and economic modernization: “Those who remain are civil servants, money grubbers and employees of big state corporations,” Mark Urnov, Dean of Faculty of Political Sciences of the Moscow Higher School of Economics, told Vedomosti.

By East-West Digital News