Experts identified the requirements of the labor market for a modern engineer
According to surveys, only 15% of Russians are ready to obtain additional competencies after graduation. The rest believe that knowledge and skills should be replenished only in case of emergency, for example, when applying for a new job or promotion. At the same time, the pace of technological progress today is so high that, according to most analysts, only those who study throughout their lives can count on a successful career. And they would do that absolutely consciously, on a voluntary basis, and not “under constraint."
The USA and the EU have realized this axiom a long time ago. That is why about half of Americans and Europeans periodically take advanced training courses, where they get information that was not available at the time of their studentships. Continuing education for them is the fundamental principle of professional competence, without which it is simply impossible to imagine the development of a specialist, wherever he or she works.
There is no doubt that the increase in production efficiency in our country depends not only on the technical re-equipment of enterprises but also on the revision of the attitude of their employees to the need of constant improvement of their competencies. Leading experts of the educational and business community spoke about this as part of the discussion “Key challenges in the development of engineering and technical expertise for industrial companies”. It was timed to coincide with the opening of the SIBURINTECH Center for the Development of Engineering and Technical Expertise.
“It’s ridiculous to count on the fact that we were taught once, and after that we will constantly produce the utmost result. However, conservatism makes a problem; there is no habit of receiving education throughout life. It, of course, needs to be worked out. Motivate yourself and others, make learning interesting. Only in this case, people will understand that tomorrow they may really need some new knowledge," set the tone of the discussion Andrey Fursenko, the Russian President Aide.
In his opinion, the domestic education system is in need of fundamental changes. After all, despite the fact that talk about reforms is terribly aggravating everyone, this is a requirement of the time. The rector of St. Petersburg Mining University Vladimir Litvinenko told the participants of the meeting about the features of such transformation. He drew the audience's attention to the fact that in the conditions of a rapidly changing scientific and technological structure, the value of the degree as such is gradually decreasing. And in order to remain competitive in the labor market, current graduates must have additional competencies - to be confident in a foreign language, understand the economics of production, be able to use specialized computer programs, and so on. The task of a modern university is to provide its students with the opportunity to acquire about 12 such competencies.
“In order to provide our economy and, in particular, the mineral resource complex with qualified personnel, a horizontal association of specialized universities is required, both within the country and in the framework of international cooperation. This will guarantee equal access for all higher education institutions to unique scientific equipment and educational infrastructure, increase the level of integration with business, create conditions for the professional development of talented youth throughout the country,” said Vladimir Litvinenko.
He reminded that in the second half of October, Minister of Science and Higher Education Valery Falkov signed a decree on the creation of a consortium of universities named "Nedra". At the first stage, it included 14 technical universities, which train students in such areas of studies as applied geology, mining and oil and gas engineering, and geodesy. In other words, universities training specialists to go to work in oil and gas and mining companies or become scientists.
Dmitry Konov, Chairman of the Board of SIBUR Holding, highly appreciated the efforts of the Mining University Rector in creating a certification system for the title of Professional Mining Engineer. Its essence lies in the fact that each graduate must work for 2-3 years in his\her areas of expertise as an intern after graduation. And then, having completed short-term courses, pass an exam on the knowledge of professional standards. If successful, his/her name will be included in the international register and thus create an additional competitive advantage, both in Russia and abroad. Any employee of a mining or processing company can obtain a similar accreditation, regardless of the age and year of obtaining a degree in higher education.
“Only those who strive for self-improvement and are able to develop can be successful in the modern world. This is the requirement of the times. Automation of production processes, IT-technologies open up more and more new opportunities for us, but to use them, we need to constantly improve the level of personnel training. Shall we not be able or willing to grow, acquire new competencies, then we’ll simply end up on the sidelines,” noted Dmitry Konov.
The Minister of Science and Higher Education Valery Falkov is sure that in the 21st century, the trajectory of the acquisition of knowledge and skills by students should largely go beyond the boundaries of the university. And the records of micro-courses listened to in third-party scientific and educational centers, such as SIBURINTECH, will be entered in the education certiicate along with the marks of the university per se.
“In the future, the boundaries between higher and postgraduate education will blur. And the result of studying at a higher educational institution will be a set of micro-degrees obtained both in the "alma mater" itself and outside it. Each of them should be of interest to the future employer, and all of them in general should indicate the level of competence of their owner,” said Valery Falkov.
He recalled that the labor market has changed significantly in recent years. For example, a graduate of a technical university is expected to be able to manage projects, organize teamwork, negotiate and find consent with colleagues. In addition, creativity, curiosity and the ability to adapt to changes are particularly valued. We must take it for granted that the requirements will continue to grow, and it will be virtually impossible to maintain competitiveness without additional studying after graduation.
Let us remind that on Friday, October 23, the SIBURINTECH Center for the Development of Engineering and Technical Expertise received the status of a regional representative office of the International Competence Center in Mining Engineering Education under the auspices of UNESCO.