More than half of Russians are ready to receive additional professional education

25 March 2024

48% of working Russians are ready to undergo additional training or professional development courses at the expense of the state or employer's funds. Every eighth (13%) respondent said that they would be willing to pay for such training themselves. Almost a fifth of respondents (18 per cent) believe that they do not need additional training, and another 21 per cent said they do not want to improve their professional skills. These are the results of a large-scale survey* conducted by ROMIR in the fourth quarter of 2023 as part of an independent sociological study of the labour market "Talentist". The survey is conducted for the second year in a row by the presidential platform "Russia - Country of Opportunities" and the ANCOR Staffing Group. 

The study showed that the younger the respondents are, the more they are willing to study at the expense of the state, employer or at their own expense. Thus, two thirds (65%) of 18-24 year old Russians are ready to undergo training paid for by the state or a company. In older age groups, this indicator gradually decreases, but still remains higher than in the sample as a whole. Only among Russians over 60 years of age the share of such answers drops to 21%.

Middle-aged Russians, the active core of the working population, are also more willing to study at their own expense. Thus, in the age group from 25 to 44 years old, every fifth (20%) respondent admits paying for their additional education. However, among Russians over 45 years old, the share of such answers sharply decreases - to 9%.

"The tendency of the employee's decreasing interest in additional professional training is understandable. The older a person gets, the less interesting it is for him to master something new. But as practice and the current situation on the labour market shows, the candidate who is oriented in trends and follows the changes in his/her profession wins. And continuing professional education can be a powerful argument when looking for a job. Participation in professional competitions and projects is also useful," says Alexey Perventsev, Deputy Director General of the Autonomous Nonprofit Organisation "Russia - Land of Opportunities".

Women (23 per cent) are somewhat more likely than men (19 per cent) to declare that they are not ready for additional training. But at the same time, men are more confident than women that they do not need advanced training - 20% vs. 16% respectively.

Russians with incomplete (68 per cent) and full (65 per cent) higher education seek to acquire additional professional knowledge and skills. Among respondents with academic degrees, the share of such answers reaches the level of 84%.  Russians with low income significantly more often stated that they are not ready to study additionally (29%). And in the group with medium and high income the share of answers about the desire to improve their qualifications exceeds two thirds.

"In today's realities, knowledge and skills have become obsolete much faster. If earlier this process took 10-12 years, now the period has been reduced to 3-5 years: new technologies and artificial intelligence are actively developing, and there is a massive digitalisation of business in various industries.  Some professions are disappearing or will soon become irrelevant, but other professions requiring new knowledge and skills are emerging in their place, and candidates realise this.  We see that a Russian ready for additional training is a person with higher education. He wants to remain a sought-after specialist, to develop his career, and for this he needs to acquire new knowledge, including from related fields. This is quite a noticeable trend that we are observing. One of the brightest examples is the trade sphere. Previously, purchases were made mainly offline, but now an omnichannel approach is required: shops, online platforms, marketplaces - all of this is developing extremely rapidly. The very type of consumption has changed: people can read reviews on marketplaces, test a product in an offline shop and buy it on a brand's website. And if an employee wants to be successful in sales, he or she must understand the principles of all channels and possess the necessary tools. For this he needs interdisciplinary knowledge and understanding of current market trends - hence the need for additional training," says Natalia Scherbakova, Sales and Marketing Director, ANCOR. 

This trend is confirmed by the survey results. The highest readiness for additional training was expressed by Russians working in trade (wholesale and retail) - 76%. Representatives of finance, medicine and education are slightly behind them in their willingness and readiness to improve their qualifications - 72% each. Russians employed in industrial production and communications and communications also responded positively to the question about additional training in 71% of cases. High shares of positive answers were noted in the above-mentioned industries mainly due to the respondents' willingness to study at the expense of the state or employer. For example, every fourth (23%) of respondents from the sphere of culture and sports is ready to pay for their additional training on their own - and this is the highest indicator in the sample.  More often than on average in the sample, those working in construction, finance and culture stated that there was no need to improve their qualifications - 22-24% each.

"In the context of federal districts some differences in the question of readiness to receive additional professional education were revealed. Thus, in general, respondents living in the Urals (68%), Northwest Russia (66%) and the North Caucasus (65%) were more likely to be willing and ready to improve their labour skills. Residents of the Volga (57%) and Central (58%) districts were less likely than the national average to declare their willingness to study," said Inna Karaeva, Executive Director of the ROMIR research holding.

The results of the study revealed that the lowest share of Russians ready for additional training and at the same time the share of the most confident that they do not need retraining, falls on respondents living in rural areas. More often than on average in the sample, Russians from cities with a population of 100 to 250 thousand and half a million people declared their unwillingness to study.


The all-Russian survey was conducted on the basis of the ROMIR Unified Data Panel in the fourth quarter of 2023. More than 9,000 people, aged 18 years and older, took part in the survey. The sample fulfils quotas by gender, age, income, education, types of settlements and regions. The sample represents the adult population of Russia.

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