Russia’s problem with high-skilled expatriation

In recent years, Russia has been puzzled by an important labor-related issue: the exodus of talented nationals who could fill the domestic skill gap and contribute to greater innovation and entrepreneurship in the country. According to data, the emigration of skilled Russians seems to mostly boil down to economic issues coupled with the relative ease highly-skilled talent has in both finding external employment opportunities and clearing legal immigration issues abroad. Highly-skilled Russians also tend to emigrate for better educational opportunities as well as a reduced effect of bureaucracies on research and the scientific process.

Data also suggests that many young skilled Russians (i.e. those just leaving university) are willing to find a job and make a life in Russia; however, they are reticent to explore these options due to the perception that Russian companies value them less than foreign counterparts and an overall uncertainty with Russian companies. To overcome this and bring back and retain highly-skilled Russians, it will be important that a competitive environment be developed that is closer to Russian students and demonstrates that Russia values its own.