Against the background of Western sanctions against Russia, the country faces an acute problem related to the employment of those sectors of the economy that require rapid import substitution. According to experts, the Russian economy now needs, first of all, highly qualified technical specialists to achieve the country’s technological independence. At the same time, modern universities should have flexible training programs so that students can master additional competencies in the learning process, including digital ones.
In April of this year, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko instructed the Ministry of Education and Science and the Ministry of Labor to submit proposals on updating the list of specialties, areas of training in higher education and approaches to the distribution of enrollment targets. Appropriate initiatives should be based on anticipating the development of the labor market and its need for specialists. He also explained to “Kommersant” in the apparatus of the Deputy Prime Minister, the necessity of obtaining instructions due to the recent changes. At the April meeting, Dmitry Chernyshenko emphasized that, first of all, Russian universities need to train workers in those industries in which “immediate substitution of imports” takes place.
Today, if we focus on the results of the competition of the Ministry of Education and Science for the distribution of budget places to universities and scientific institutions for the academic year 2023-2024, the greatest demand in the Russian education system is for engineering and technical training areas (245 thousand places), pedagogical sciences (more than 75 thousand places) . places), public (68 thousand places), medical (53 thousand places).
However, the picture of the Russian economy has now changed for many years, notes Irina Abankina, professor at the Institute of Education at the Higher School of Economics: “We are rebuilding partnerships, most supply chains. And we need to understand the target numbers in these chains that require modernization: where there are Already saturation of highly educated staff, where there is redundancy, and where there is a need to retrain working staff faster, where we see rapidly growing new needs that can be filled by graduates.”
“In our opinion, specialists in related fields with competencies, including the field of digital technologies, will be most in demand now. Probably, the age of “purely” engineers says Maria Belchuk, Vice President for Educational Activities and Youth Policy at MSTU Stankin. ” It has long been sunk into oblivion. It indicates that modern universities require flexible training programs, and students should be able to master additional competencies in the learning process. According to the President of Novosibirsk State University Mikhail Fedoruk, areas related to applied mathematics, new functional materials and biotechnologies It is the most advanced today.
In addition to a properly selected specialization, the structural units of universities – employment centers – are invited to promote student employment and the employment of graduates. It is they who play the main role in the interaction of universities with potential employers of companies. According to the Ministry of Education and Science, there are currently 581 career centers operating in universities. For example, the Center for Career Development at the National Research University Graduate School of Economics organizes weekly student meetings with different companies on Thursdays, where HR professionals or specialists in specific areas tell students about how the industry works, what programs are available to young professionals about the skills needed, As says head of the University’s Center for Professional Development Olga Gaevskaya. “Our job is to ensure that the student, starting from the first day of study at the university, has a well-developed business outlook, understands the labor market, analyzes its opportunities, injects relevant skills and gets to know future employers,” she notes.
Interaction with potential employers takes place at all stages of training of future professionals: from schoolchildren (immigrants) to graduates and young professionals, share with us the experience of NRNU MEPhI and. Around. Ilya Rudko, Head of Student Employment and Employer Interaction Department at the university. According to him, future students cooperate with companies in the framework of career guidance projects, project activities for schoolchildren, pre-professional competitions and Olympiads. Students participate in the industry agenda through project practices in the junior years, professional Olympiads and competitions, industry training courses, etc.
In general, in order for the choice of profession to be conscious, it is necessary to start more actively conducting specialized training in schools, Ms. Abankina believes. Today, many schools open pre-university doors for medicine, engineering classes, media classes, and creative industries classes. This is a more convenient way to make a conscious decision for a profession,” she thinks.
Employer-oriented training can also provide employees and students with a secure job. However, student-oriented training is not yet working properly, notes Ms. Abankina. In her opinion, this model requires a complex interaction between the employer and the university. In order to reach the planned volumes for the conclusion of tripartite agreements between the applicant, the training client and the management of the educational institution, a lot of information and explanatory work is needed, she believes. It should be noted that earlier, in May of this year, the Deputy Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Irina Yarovaya, presented to the State Duma a bill on targeted enrollment in universities.
In turn, in April of this year, the Council of the Digital Economy of the Federation Council proposed to consider the possibility of restoring the five-year distribution system for state-funded students after graduating from universities, technical schools and colleges. In the USSR, we remember, the distribution was three years. Most likely, the defense industry can become the main interest in this due to the shortage of IT personnel due to low salaries in these organizations. Mr. Kolbaka believes that “a return to Soviet practices would be a disaster, because it would mean the absence of a market economy in the Russian Federation”. Fedoruk also agrees with him: “You cannot take the distribution of graduates out of the context of a planned economy and dump it in a market economy, because the mechanism will not work as expected under conditions unfavorable to it at first . . . “
However, in the office of Dmitry Chernyshenko, Kommersant emphasized that the point of review of the approaches to the distribution of budget places is not to return to the Soviet distribution system, but to update training priorities on the basis of the current situation.