Business news from Ukraine

About 20% of Ukrainian IT specialists work abroad – research

20 June , 2024  

About 20% of Ukrainian IT specialists work abroad, while in 2023 their number increased to 65 thousand from 50-57 thousand a year earlier, according to the study AI Ecosystem of Ukraine: Talents, Companies, Education, prepared by the non-profit organization AI House and Roosh investment group with the support of the Ministry of Digital Information.

According to the data, the total number of IT specialists in Ukraine increased to 307 thousand in 2023 from 285 thousand in 2022.

According to Eurostat data cited in the study, Ukraine ranks second among Central and Eastern European countries in terms of the number of IT specialists, followed by Poland with 600.7 thousand.

At the same time, the number of AI/ML specialists has increased fivefold over the past 10 years, but as of January 2024, it amounts to slightly more than 1% – 5.2 thousand people.

“The active migration of specialists abroad as a result of the war leads to a shortage of qualified personnel in the domestic market, hindering the development of the industry,” the study says.

The most widespread professions among specialists are Data Scientists and ML Engineers, which together account for 63% of all AI/ML industry professionals. It is noted that these areas offer the highest salaries among IT specialties in the country. The average salary of a junior specialist in Ukraine is $1-1.5 thousand, and a senior specialist – $4.5 thousand.

Over the past 10 years, the number of product AI companies in Ukraine has increased by 3.7 times and reached 183 by 2023, while the number of service AI companies has increased by 46% to 60. Over the past four years, 34 companies specializing in artificial intelligence have opened. It is noted that 55% of the offices of Ukrainian AI companies are located in Kyiv.

At the same time, the country ranks last among the countries of Central and Eastern Europe in terms of the number of venture capital investments attracted over the past three years. The leaders are Poland, Lithuania, and the Czech Republic, which attract 12-16 times more funding than Ukraine, the study says. The probable reasons are the full-scale invasion of Russia and the registration of Ukrainian companies in European countries or the United States.

In 2023, the amount of venture capital investments that 22 Ukrainian companies managed to attract decreased by 31% to $10.8 million compared to 2022, which, according to the authors of the study, repeats the general trend of a decrease in such investments in the world. The war also complicates the process of negotiations between startups and potential investors to raise funding.