It was quite a crowd scene when college applicants met with employees of the Belarus High-Tech Park and with deans of the country’s leading universities, which train IT specialists. The young students wanted to know where they could get a good IT education, so they could earn a high salary in an interesting job.
«IT offers the highest salaries in Belarus, the field is constantly evolving, and in four years, when today’s applicants finish college, they’ll have no trouble finding good jobs,” said Aleksandr Martinkevich, deputy director of the Hi-Tech Park. “Belarus has state-of-the-art technical education, and graduates of our universities are qualified to join the world’s leading IT companies. The Belarusian programmer today is a brand, like the ‘Belarus’ tractor used to be.”
There has been high demand for all IT specialties in Belarus for the past several years, linked to the top priority given to the development of technology. It is no accident that the average salary for IT specialists is among the highest in the country.
As examples of successful business development, Aleksandr Martinkevich cites such brands as «Game Stream» (the Minsk development center for Wargaming), EPAM, and also Viber. These were all created by Belarusian programmers, who are now millionaires.
There were masses of applicants in the hall; they came with their families, or with groups of classmates. They discussed how they performed on their math exams and said that they were waiting anxiously for results of other tests.
«If I did well in physics, I think I’ll get in and get state financial support,» says Sergei, who came with his mother.
“We do not have anyone with higher education in our family, but they tell me my son is good in math,” said Sergei’s mother. “He did not even need a tutor. We want him to become a programmer. I hope that they really do earn a good salary.”
Judging by the questions asked, the applicants think a successful programmer is someone who goes abroad to work after university, or who makes a lot of money by starting his own business in Belarus. But things are not always so straightforward. This was borne out by Timofei Sakharchuk, a software engineer at Exadel, a resident company at the Hi-Tech Park. Timothy is a very successful specialist, who, in addition to many other projects, helped create ABC’s Oscar Awards website. He graduated from the Department of Radiophysics at Belarus State University. He has not opened his own business, and he wants to work in Belarus.
One plus of the IT field, Sakharchuk believes, is that he can work for a foreign business without leaving the country. By outsourcing, Belarusian programmers can earn a salary commensurate with that of Central Europeans. When asked by one of the applicants why he did not stay in the West, Timofei replied that he had visited the United States several times and knew what it was like to work there.
“In the US, they don’t get four weeks’ vacation, like we do, but two weeks, max. If you came from Belarus, it would take you that long to get home to see your parents. I like to travel; I want to see the world – two weeks is not enough for me. What else is there in America that is better for a programmer? They say you can get loans at 3%. But if you go there and start working, you will first have to borrow at a higher interest rate to establish a good credit history, and this takes time. I also prefer our Belarusian food; it tastes better to me. There are also fewer opportunities for career growth abroad, judging by my friends’ stories. It is just the opposite here. In general, the important thing is to know how to study, and then you will get ahead, no matter where you are working.”

Photo of the press-service of HTP Naviny.by

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