Portrait of a typical switcher, or who studied at IT Fundamentals for Ukrainian Switchers program?
27 Jul 2022

Even before February 24, IT professions were using great popularity, but following the full-scale invasion in Ukraine, the demand for upskilling grew many times. Data from the pilot educational course IT Fundamentals for Ukrainian Switchers held at the beginning of spring 2022 confirms this theory.

So, what did the typical program participant look like?

More than 18,000 people applied for the free educational program IT Fundamentals for Ukrainian Switchers. The number of registrations has set a record: it has exceeded 10 times the number of people who registered for an average EPAM University course before the war. But who are all those people? A survey conducted among program participants allowed us to create a portrait of a potential IT specialist after retraining.

71% of the course students are between the age of 18 and 44, with almost equal numbers of men and women. Almost a third part of the enrolled is from Kyiv, and one in every eight is from Kharkiv or Lviv. At the same time, 92% of respondents are based in Ukraine.

Potential switchers most frequently listed education, retail, banking, and the service sector as their previous professional fields. Among our students, there were theater workers, a restorer of antique books, a furniture assembler, and a librarian. Almost half of the course's attendees worked as specialists, and every fifth was a director or business owner.

37% of respondents indicated the war as the primary cause for retraining. Additionally, a quarter of the respondents wanted to change their lives, and another 28% had been considering the transition to the IT industry for a long time. After three months, each program participant selected an IT specialty. Frontend (38%) has the highest registration rate, followed by Java (every fifth participant) in the second position.

Denys Grynov, Head of ЕРАМ University Educational Programs, adds: 

We usually train candidates who already know the basics of IT and have an idea of ​​the profession. However, considering the situation in the labor market, we realized that we should give everyone a chance. As it turned out, we adopted the right strategy, and the IT Fundamentals for Ukrainian switchers pilot course sparked interest from across Ukraine and beyond. We've never worked with such a large audience at once — it's basically like a big campus. However, we understood from the reviews that such a project was much needed. It is especially true for people who lost their jobs because of the war.