Russian Professionals: Specifics of Jobs and of Human Potential

Russian Professionals:
Specifics of Jobs and of Human Potential

Tikhonova N.Ye.

Dr. Sci. (Sociol.), Leading Researcher, Institute of Sociology of FCTAS RAS; Prof. Researcher, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia

ID of the Article: 8336

The article is supported by the RFBR, project No. 19-29-07172.

For citation:

Tikhonova N.Ye. Russian Professionals: Specifics of Jobs and of Human Potential. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2020. No 10. P. 71-83


The jobs of professionals in modern Russia are extremely heterogeneous and differentiated not only by industry, but also by opportunities they offer their employees, as well as by requirements for the knowledge, experience and personal characteristics of them. Because of this, not all the jobs of professionals can be described as forming structural prerequisites for the emergence of the Russian middle class — there are no more than two-thirds of them even without accounting for income. The key factor defining access to high-quality jobs with relatively high wages, observance of labor rights, career prospects and professional growth is the human potential of workers (level of education, work experience, personal characteristics etc.). This allows characterize Russian society (in its mass population part) as fundamentally meritocratic. However, the resource of social networks currently has almost the same significance for access to the top quality jobs in Russia demonstrating serious limitations for such a definition even in relation to mass population, as well as demotivation threat for human potential accumulation with a significant part of professionals. The lack of incentives to accumulate knowledge and skills for them is also aggravated by the fact that most of their jobs in Russia currently do not imply updating knowledge, advanced training or use of education or practical experience acquired by employees earlier. In general, although the Russian economy is currently creating incentives to build-up human potential of professionals, these incentives are limited, not always monetized and clearly insufficient to further the use of practices increasing their human potential.

professionals; human capital; human potential; social structure; professional structure; knowledge economy; jobs


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