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Foreign Languages and Cramming

The educational platform Changellenge analyzed the career preferences of students from Russia’s leading universities. Students answered questions about what companies they would like to work at, how much they expect to earn and what dissatisfies them about their university education.

Conducted from December 2018 to March 2019, the study surveyed 6,000 students and recent graduates in business, IT and other technical fields from leading Russian universities, including HSE University, Moscow State University, Bauman Moscow State Technical University, the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, the Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, Saint Petersburg State University, Ural Federal University and Novosibirsk State University.

Educational Satisfaction

Survey results showed that HSE students have fewer complaints about the quality of their education than students of the other top 30 Russian universities. Only 13% think their course curricula are outdated (compared to 31% of students from the other top 30 schools), 16% express frustration with having to cram for courses without understanding the material (compared to 30% of students across the board), 21% (versus 31% generally) of students cited a lack of opportunity to gain work experience at a company. At the same time, 23% of HSE students (versus 19% of students generally) said that they were generally satisfied with their education.

In the survey, a majority of HSE students said that they do not gain proper proficiency in foreign languages (35%); 23% would like to study more subjects within their major; 21% wished that their programme was better aligned with the needs of the labour market.

In addition, HSE students said that they receive information about employment opportunities primarily from university listservs and social media, and, to a lesser extent, job websites, the main HSE University website and HSE University’s Career Days.

Salary Expectations

The average expected salary amongst the majority of respondents is 29,800 rubles a month during training or interning and 75,500 rubles a month once a permanent position has been secured. At the same time, male respondents on average expect a higher income than their female counterparts: men hope to earn 86,800 rubles a month, while women hope to earn 72,600 rubles a month.

Students majoring in tech and IT-related fields had the highest expectations when it comes to work conditions, while students of the humanities had the lowest.

Students who have chosen to pursue jobs in consulting, investment and FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) had the highest salary expectations.

Students from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, the New Economic School, and  Bauman Moscow State Technical University had the highest expectations in terms of future remuneration. HSE ranked fifth.

86,000 rubles is the monthly salary 3rd- and 4th-year students at HSE’s Moscow campus expect to earn

Students of HSE – St. Petersburg would like to earn 68,000 rubles a month; HSE students in Nizhny Novgorod hope to earn 50,000 rubles; and students in Perm hope to earn 45,000 rubles.

Where the Graduates of Russia’s Leading Universities Want to Work

According to survey data, the fields of IT, consulting, and advertising and marketing ranked highest as the most desired career areas. Below these areas ranked finance, the arts and banking. The least attractive areas of employment were insurance, agriculture and military service.

Preferred Fields of Employment

Students and graduates of leading Russian universities are most drawn to careers in IT, consulting, and advertising and marketing.

Moscow is home to the largest portion of respondents who see their future in consulting, while the most popular professional field in Russia’s other regions was IT.

The majority of those surveyed said that, in the next three years, they would like to find a job that interests them, focus on self-development, become financially independent, travel a lot and be independent.

Factors most influencing respondents’ career preferences included salary, the potential for training and international experience, a flexible schedule, as well as the job’s meaning and value. Compensation and the company’s position in the market had the least influence.

Dream Companies

Based on the survey results, Changellenge compiled a ranking of employers and a list of the top 100 companies that are most ideal for starting a career. The ranking includes companies such as Google, Yandex, EU, Gasprom, Microsoft and McKinsey & Company.

View the full list here (in Russian).

Author: Yulia Giatsintova, June 13, 2019