Advertising in the media these days loudly invites you to choose to study at universities with the best reputation, the highest ratings or the largest number of employees after graduation. However, the high drop-out rate during studies indicates that young people often do not learn what they want. What to pay attention to when choosing a field of study and entering a university?
By sticking to tempting slogans and promises in university commercials, there is a greater risk of making mistakes when choosing your next step in your career, experts say.
“I had a big heartache for the huge drop-out rate for students. In some programs, even 80%, if you look from the moment of admission to the moment of graduation,” says career counselor Jolanta Priede.
One of the reasons that students leave without completing their studies is that they do not really know and do not understand what they have chosen to study.
“They actually know very few professions. Once I did an experiment, I gave a white sheet to a 12th grade student during my lecture to write down all the professions he knows, he didn’t get even a hundred. It was 50-100. The question is, can you make choices if you you know only the same, the smallest particle for an iceberg, “says Priede.
The stumbling block is to aim for those fields of study where it is easier to get to budget places, the expert observed. It is an opportunity to study for free, but if the choice is not suitable, it is still not until graduation. A fairly popular option for studying is to follow a friend to have fun together.
“The drive for money is also extremely popular among young people today. In the field of IT, the average salary is much higher than in pedagogy or some other field.
Young people should understand whether they are creative or rather mind-boggling – this is a good way to choose a university.
But do you need to study at all? Statistics and university monitoring by the Ministry of Education and Science are responsible for this. Monitoring tracks whether university graduates pay income tax in Latvia.
Latvian university graduates have 22% higher salaries, and there are fewer unemployed among them than those who have not obtained higher education. So you need to learn, but what?
“Even if you are not a representative of the field of technical knowledge, then every team always needs creative people, we need people who can cooperate, people who can talk to customers, find out the needs of customers. Since in this case we can not say just one direction, “points out Līga Menģelsone, Director General of the Latvian Employers’ Confederation.
The data on the chosen field of study and the future of the requested jobs are worrying. Forecasts show that in 7 years there will be a shortage of 14 thousand STEM or physics, chemistry, mathematics, informatics, biology and natural sciences professionals. Meanwhile, the surplus of graduates of the most demanded fields of study in the country – social and humanitarian – will be 17 thousand. The shortage of labor force among the graduates of secondary vocational schools – technical colleges, colleges – is worrying.
“RTU is always at the top of our top, including employers, with virtually all their directions and faculties. In terms of programs, the LU computer science field has been very popular among the programs recommended by employers,” Mengelsone continues.
Young people after high school are not interested in such subjects as chemistry and physics, which will be among the most in demand in the future, admits Līga Menģelsone. Similarly, the communication and cooperation skills required in the labor market are, in the opinion of employers, insufficient.
“This is a painful issue because we see from the employers’ point of view that it is increasingly demanding not only knowledge, but also qualities that may not really be taught on a school bench or in a higher education institution,” explains Mengelson.
These are qualities such as cooperation, flexibility, attitudes towards work and also psychological resilience. Research confirms that most future professions are not yet named, so when choosing a career, young people themselves or with the help of teachers and professionals should first look for the answer to the question – who am I?
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