Ukrainian Programmers do Know English - Pilot Testing Results of IT Graduates

Ukrainian universities got involved in a pilot project to optimize the education program for IT specialists. The project was initiated by the "IT Ukraine" Association and already in the first weeks the representatives of such leading Ukrainian IT companies as Softengi, Softline-IT, and others, took part in the project as experts.

Kyiv, Ukraine, May 17, 2013 --( The pilot universities, which participated actively in the optimization program, were the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv and National Technical University of Ukraine Kiev Polytechnic Institute (NTU "KPI"). The objective of the pilot project is to make changes to the education plans and programs of IT fields according to the recommendations from employers, as students of these professions subsequently become the leading specialists of Ukrainian IT companies, which are directly interested in their level of knowledge.

During the education program optimization the review of the major fields of study has to take place, the first of which has become the English language. The choice of this discipline as the pilot was not accidental - despite the talent and depth of IT knowledge by which Ukrainian programmers and computer engineers are well-known around the world - a low level of English of those specialists is still one of the criteria that does not allow Ukraine to take the first position of the world leaders in the IT outsourcing.

Leading Ukrainian IT companies willingly participated in such an unusual experiment. As the main experts in the English language verification of undergraduates there were Human Resources Managers, directly involved in the selection of personnel for their companies, together with Project Coordinators.

Taisiia Mliuzan, Softengi’s HR Manager, who participated in the English testing of NTU "KPI" students: "Our company works primarily with customers from the United States and Western Europe and, of course, one of the main requirements in the selection of remote teams for the projects is a good knowledge of English. This testing in the universities has demonstrated that 80% of today's IT graduates who have been tested as part of the project speak English at a very high level, and this is a good indicator in comparison with the previous years.” The surprising fact was that English classes of many graduates were finished at the third year of study at the university, but their level was not inferior to the groups with language classes for the entire period of study. "Seeing our surprise by such a good level of language, the students have admitted that they understand the requirements of today's market, but without obtaining the necessary knowledge in the university they have to maintain and improve their English level with additional courses and tutors," comments Taisiia.

The experts of IT companies who participated in the pilot project have made the reports with recommendations for education program optimization for IT specialists, but "live" feedback after testing of graduate students showed that IT companies were satisfied with the overall preparation of students in the English language. The first results of the pilot project showed not only Ukraine's progress in education of IT professionals, but also confirmed the trend of robust growth of the country's competitiveness in the global IT outsourcing market.
Olga Iatsyna
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