“The world has changed tremendously and the opportunities now because of technology are far more broadly distributed than ever before. The technological opportunities for Armenia are special.”
— Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit, and founder of Seven Seven Six
As the Reddit founder mentioned in one of his speeches, Information Technology has a central role in Armenia. In recent years, the sector has been seeing essential growth with the number of new companies and hiring increasing at double-digit annual rates. Data provided by Economy Minister Vahan Kerobian reveals that Armenian tech companies employed 20,000 people as of the end of April 2022 compared to 13,500 in 2021. At the same time, the number of startups, and foreign investments are record-breaking.
High demand in the tech sector and interest in developing solutions to add value to the global chain motivate many people in Armenia to experience themselves in Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
Among the most significant developments related to the Armenian tech industry are innovative startups, educational programs, investments, and career opportunities.
What are the achievements and possibilities in this sector? We’re here to share some insights.
Armenian tech startups and investments from foreign companies
Rising startups and the realization of breakthrough ideas is perhaps the main driving force for the IT industry growth in Armenia. Here you can see companies specialized in customized software, data science, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, computer graphics, multimedia, and beyond.
According to Banks.am, in 2021 startups based in Armenia received $27 M in investments. Several companies with Armenian founders, but operating abroad, whose first direction of expansion is Armenia, also received much larger investments. Also, that year creative platform Picsart became the first Armenian unicorn, reaching a valuation of $1 bln. Another startup, Krisp, which removes background noise from audio with the use of machine learning, attracted $9 M, raising a total of $17.5 M in 4 investment rounds. Podcastle AI, an audio creation platform founded in 2020, raised $7 M in an early-stage funding round.
Along with the growth of domestic companies, the number of foreign tech companies establishing branches or subsidiaries in Armenia has been increasing essentially. Among them already are Adobe, EPAM, Oracle, SADA, Siemens, Synopsis, Teamviewer, Optym, Mentor Graphics, SEMRush, etc.
Some leading international companies including Microsoft, IBM, NVIDIA, ManyChat, National Instruments, and others have opened research laboratories and maker spaces in the country. The main location for the ventures is Yerevan. Next come Vanadzor and Gyumri.
In this sense, outside of Yerevan, in other big cities of Armenia, the development of the technological environment is greatly facilitated by the presence of local infrastructures, in particular, technological hubs. Such are the Gyumri Technological Center in Gyumri and the Vanadzor Technological Center in Vanadzor, as well as TUMO centers and continuously opening coworking spaces and other centers.
How to learn or improve tech skills in Armenia?
In Armenia, there are lots of educational programs for beginners as well as industry experts so that everyone can find what they are looking for. Below are some examples:
Founded in 2014, Armath makes robotic laboratories available in all regions of Armenia to help young learners aged 10-18 get free education in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). As of 2022, 626 laboratories operate in Armenia, Artsakh, Georgia, and India.
TUMO is another educational program for teenagers in Armenia. It offers self-learning activities, workshops, and project labs focused on 14 targets, including animation, game development, web development, 3D modeling, programming, graphic design, etc. Currently, TUMO is present in Yerevan, Dilijan, Gyumri, and Stepanakert. It also has centers outside of Armenia, including Paris, Beirut, Moscow, and others.
Synopsys has developed different educational programs in Armenia. In collaboration with universities, the company is expanding engineering programs into all
aspects of system-on-chip (SoC) design and software engineering. Other courses by the company are the high-school program STEP, on-demand training, and internships.
Today, there are plenty of resources for education, self-education, learning, and improvement. You can watch tutorials, take online courses, practice your knowledge on coding websites, read technical documentation, etc. It remains to choose an option and become a competitive specialist in the tech sector.
What are the most in-demand tech jobs in Armenia?
Taking a look into the Armenian IT industry, you’ll see that people with different experience levels, skills, and knowledge come together around various projects. The demand for specialists is high and it continues to grow. Salaries in this sector are comparatively high. They mainly depend on the skills and experience of employees.
The most demanded tech specialists in Armenia are:
Quality Assurance (QA) testers
Quality assurance testers check if the software that a team plans to release is reliable. Also, they help products recover from failed releases, and make improvements. There are manual and automated testing specialists. In a manual process, a specialist performs tests step by step without description patterns. In automated testing, tests are executed automatically through frameworks, tools, and software. Useful skills for QA testers are planning, the ability to compose documentation, critical thinking, understanding of development methods, etc. The salary range for this position is 100,000 AMD – 1,800,000 AMD.
Artificial Intelligence specialists
Today, Artificial Intelligence is among the main drivers of digital transformation. This emerging technology allows a machine to simulate human behavior and solve different complex problems through smart computer systems. AI with its subsets such as Machine Learning (ML), Deep Learning, and Chatbots is one of the hottest technology trends. According to LinkedIn data, hiring growth for AI specialists has grown 74% annually from 2016 to 2020. In Armenia, there are many AI-focused companies including SmartClick, Cognaize, Expper Technologies, Podcastle, and others. The profession is highly competitive. Among the most demanded skills are knowledge of programming languages like Python, Java, R, Linear algebra and statistics, signal analysis, etc. Monthly salary for AI specialists varies from 200,000 AMD – 1,200,000 AMD.
Product Management and Project Management
If you have strong organizational skills, and you are keen on technologies, one of these careers may be a good opportunity for you. Although it can be confusing, product management isn’t the same as project management. While a product manager focuses on the development and release, a project manager takes care of the coordination, management, and supervision of the project. Common skills for both roles are time management, leadership, effective communication, and problem-solving abilities. Project managers also need to be technical to handle projects in a tech company. Both product and project managers are in high demand in Armenia. Their monthly salary range is 120,000 AMD – 1,400,000 AMD.
Besides the above-mentioned, there are many other technical and non-technical roles demanded in the Armenian IT industry. Among them are UI/UX designers, graphic designers, digital marketers, illustrators, technical writers, content managers, SEO specialists, sales executives, customer support assistants, and more.
Benefits and opportunities for IT specialists in Armenia
Working in the tech industry in Armenia has lots of benefits such as opportunities for different career paths and achievements, hiring demand, and earning potential. Many companies also offer flexible hours and hybrid work possibilities. Another advantage is that specialists in Armenia can find freelance jobs through platforms such as Upwork, Fivver, Toptal, and others.
Growing momentum and future perspectives make Armenia a new crossroad in the tech industry, which means that the time to join the industry has never been better.