English-language articles about the Ukrainian IT industry all have the same facts: the revenue generated by the industry, its share in the national economy, the number of tech university graduates, etc. We decided to update these facts to give authors new ideas that they can use in their own writing.
With that being said, let’s get the ball rolling.
The aim of the study
Acknowledge well-known facts and find new ones that can be used in the articles about Ukrainian IT industry to help writers create a positive image of the Ukrainian technology sector.
We have read 103 English articles on Google on the query “IT industry Ukraine”. Of course, we switched to the USA region, since we are interested in the content that an average American customer of Ukrainian IT services can come across.
Who writes about Ukrainian IT
The leaders among the analyzed sources that write about Ukrainian IT are the IT Ukraine Association, AIN media, BRDO (Better Regulation Delivery Office) – a Ukrainian public authority, and the DOU community website. Atlantic Сouncil, BBC, Forbes and State of European Tech also make the top ten. These names give much weight to the information.
In general, we can state that the image of Ukrainian IT is being formed by reliable information sources.
The articles we have carefully studied use 298 resources with information about the Ukrainian IT industry.
The analysis of the usage of certain words and word combinations has indicated that the articles cover industry benchmarks, and their historic and current dynamics (notions like “export,” “GDP,” and such) thanks to the information from the above-mentioned sources.
As anticipated, the articles cover Ukrainian IT outsourcing much more often than everything else. Russia, Europe and the war take the second, third, and fourth places accordingly.
The people that were most quoted are Mykhailo Fedorov, the Minister of Digital Transformation in Ukraine, and Kostyantyn Vasyuk, the Head of the Ukrainian IT Association.
Konstantin Vasyuk — Ukraine | Professional Profile | LinkedIn
Do the articles include sufficient information about Ukraine's IT sector?
We couldn’t help but get interested in what exactly is stated in the articles about the Ukrainian IT industry.
First, we analyzed the frequency of using certain facts in the articles. It’s important to mention that by "fact" we mean a statement that has a measurable value, such as “every year, Ukraine graduates over 20,000 students.” Besides, sentences like “IT services export had a 5% increase in the current quarter” and a similar one, “In the past year, the export has reached 4 billion,” were counted as two separate facts, although, we do realize that they relate to the same topic.
Here’s an illustration that demonstrates the frequency of using certain facts in the analyzed articles.
A bit of explanation: we considered the inclusion of 10 or more facts as the line between a sufficient and an insufficient article. There were 41 “sufficient” articles out of 95, making 43% of the total.
Is it enough or not? In our opinion, 43% is a pretty good result. It gives us confidence that in almost every second case an English-speaking reader can learn more than 10 specific facts about Ukrainian IT in case they read one of the articles we've analyzed.
Let’s move on and find out what the articles are talking about exactly.
What do they say about Ukrainian IT?
We've analyzed the information and classified the facts into associative groups about the Ukrainian IT industry:
- Industry benchmarks
- Big stories
- Market components
- Ukrainian economy
That’s what we’ve managed to gather so far.
Despite the fact that russia's war in Ukraine has forced many tech companies to evacuate to safer areas and suspend businesses for some time, the tech industry revenue in Ukraine is growing — in the first quarter of 2022, it has increased by 28% compared to the previous year, according to the IT Ukraine Association.
- By 2022, there were 285,000 IT professionals in the country, according to the IT Ukraine Association, and the country has produced several homegrown tech unicorns, including DevOps platform GitLab and typing assistant company Grammarly.
- Ukraine’s IT exports jumped by a staggering 36% to US$6.8 billion in 2021, reported The Wall Street Journal, citing data from IT Ukraine Association, a trade group.
- However, it is obvious that the USA remains Ukraine’s largest R&D partner (45% of research companies), even if the statistics differ in other researches.
- Meanwhile, the number of IT specialists in its economy has increased from 244,000 to 285,000.
- Based on the survey of DOU, a leading industry platform, nearly 141,000 Ukrainian IT specialists work in IT services companies, while others are employed by product companies, local startups, and foreign R&D centers.
- The country’s IT ecosystem encounters 4.000 local companies and 110 leading global R&D centers (Samsung, Microsoft, Ring, Snap, Magento, Plarium, Boeing, Siemens, Ericsson);
- Currently, the main customers are the United States (about 50% of all IT services are exported there), the EU (35%, including Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden) and Canada (8%);
- Ukrainian IT professionals have a chance to earn salaries that are much higher than the national average while charging rates that are lower than what companies in Western Europe and North America can offer.
- The largest community of developers in Ukraine, DOU, states that there are about 200,000 Ukrainian tech professionals, and 67,000 of them work in the Top 50 largest Ukrainian companies.
- The statistics provided by the Ministry of Education of Ukraine reported that more than 400 universities and colleges in Ukraine graduate more new professionals in science-related fields compared to many first-world countries, including Norway, Japan, and the Netherlands. Ukraine is one of the biggest and most successful international student markets in Europe with almost 5.7 million students.
- When it comes to the structure of the IT talent pool in Ukraine, it has the following skills distribution: 68% of software engineers and QA/testing specialists, 26% of DevOps, Business Analysts, security experts and UX/UI designers, and 6% of PM resources.
The main factors that attract foreign companies to the Ukrainian IT market are the following: a huge pool of gifted IT specialists, convenient location, low taxes (5%) and wages, high-quality work, and cultural similarity.
- Last year, Ukraine set a new tech record with its first “decacorns” — start-ups that have exceeded a valuation of $10 billion, and the IT sector grew 36% in 2021. Some of those big start-ups are Grammarly, the English proofreading AI, Ajax, the home security application, or Readdle, the company that makes PDF, e-mail, and other productivity tools.
- The country’s first decacorn Grammarly, which achieved a $13bn valuation on the back of a $200m investment round in April 2021.
- Ukraine is home for 2,000 startups among which you’ll find Grammarly, Reface, Preply, Ajax, Jooble, DepositPhotos, GitLab, and PetCube.
- The Ukrainian ICT industry donated US$24 million to the army and humanitarian aid within the first 10 days of war, and Vasyuk says most organizations can still deliver on IT projects, even as Ukraine-based employees joined the army or volunteered to bolster the country’s cybersecurity defences.
- On March 23, the association reported that more than 70 percent of IT professionals had relocated to safe regions of Ukraine and that 50 to 80 percent of specialists were involved in the implementation of client projects.
- Despite the war, the tech industry revenue is growing — in the first quarter of 2022 it has increased by 28% compared to last year according to the IT Ukraine Association. The war forced many IT companies to evacuate to safer areas and suspend business for some time.
- The list of the largest IT events includes iForum (13,000 participants in 2019), IT Arena (3,800+ participants in 2019), Games Gathering (3000+ participants in 2019), SaaS Nation (500+ participants in 2019), and many more.
- It [Ukrainian market] consists of 14 clusters, including 80 companies.
Global b2b research positions Ukraine as “a sleeping Tiger” with a lot of disruptive potentials to be yet unfolded.
- Meanwhile, the country’s overall exports fell by 4.6%. Based on these recent figures, the Ukrainian IT industry now accounts for 8.3% of total exports.
- The PwC forecast states that the Ukrainian IT market will reach $8.4 bn worth of exports by 2025. In recent years, the IT market of Ukraine has been expanding drastically, growing at a 26% rate.
- According to the Ukrainian IT market report, since 2012 the IT contribution to the Ukrainian’s GDP has risen from 0.8% to 4% due to the growing export of tech services.
- Ukrainian developers rank 5th among the best software developers in the world with an average score index of 93.17%.
- Software developers from Ukraine are ranked at the 11th position according to Hacker ranking in terms of programming quality.
- According to Gartner’s report, Ukraine entered into the rank of the top 20 offshoring destinations of the EMEA region.
- One of the top 50 most innovative countries by The Global Innovation Index
- Ukraine’s average country performance rank at the last ten international math Olympiads was sixteenth out of 135 countries; in physics, — it was ninth out of eighty-four countries.
- Ukraine ranks 20th in the A.T. Kearney Global Services Location Index for being the number one outsourcing destination.
- Ukraine has one of the largest shares of computer science and STEM graduates in Europe, nearly 10%.
- While the overall quality of the Ukrainian education system ranks only fifty-sixth in the world (out of 137 countries), the level of high school math and science education has always been globally competitive.
What our study has revealed
We started our research with a hypothesis that the articles about Ukrainian IT cover a small number of topics. As we have discovered, this doesn't seem to be true. There are many facts and unique statements in the above-gathered citations that we have divided into 6 groups. But does a single article cover a sufficient number of topics?
It's no secret that most people read only the first 10 search results. That’s why we’ve analyzed the first 10 articles from the hundred mentioned before and counted the number of topics and facts they include.
Our initial thesis that the articles about the Ukrainian IT industry all have the same facts turns out to be valid. Industry benchmarks take up 38% of all facts in the articles and prevail over other categories.
This doesn't surprise us, because, as you can remember, we've analyzed the articles we found on the query “IT industry Ukraine.” Nevertheless, writers can still talk about our industry from different perspectives.
Now, we have data to support our observations. Should we stop here? Absolutely not, as our goal is to find new facts that deserve more credit.
Looking for new facts and additions
After our eyes became bleary from researching information about our IT sphere, we took a break and started again with fresh perspectives. In our opinion, the following things should be included in the articles about Ukrainian IT:
- Diia and our achievements in the digitalization of the public services: https://ukraine.ua/invest-trade/digitalization/
- Good County Index, where Ukraine takes a low position in a general rating, but holds the first place among the countries that contribute to the Science and Technology development: https://index.goodcountry.org/
- Frequent victories of Ukrainian mathematicians in schools and other contests: https://www.imo-official.org/country_team_r.aspx?code=UKR&column=name&order=desc
- Without exaggeration, Ukraine has a great history of inventions and scientific discoveries. Here is a small piece of information about that: https://espreso.tv/article/2015/07/24/top_22_ukrayinskykh_vynakhody___bez_yakykh_by_ne_isnuvav_svit
What interesting facts about Ukrainian IT have we missed? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.