Russian secondary professional education: demand and specificity of choice

Russian secondary professional education: demand and specificity of choice

Konstantinovskiy D.L.

Dr. Sci. (Sociol.), Chief Researcher, Institute of Sociology of FCTAS RAS, Moscow, Russia.

Popova E.S.

Cand. Sci. (Sociol.), Researcher Fellow, Department of Sociology of Education, Institute of Sociology of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia.

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Konstantinovskiy D.L., Popova E.S. Russian secondary professional education: demand and specificity of choice. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2018. No 3. P. 34-44


The importance of secondary professional education (which includes programs for the training of skilled workers and middle-level specialists – ISCED 3 4,5 4) is noted by international experts; they pay attention to the fact that participation in such programs is of great importance for technological development, helps to reduce the level of youth unemployment and improve the efficiency of transitions from education to the labour market. However, the young people who choose these programs often fall out of the field of view of the professionals, do not become an object of sociological research. The article analyses the dynamics of young people’s enrollment in Russian secondary vocational education and the features of choosing it, the motivation and sustainability of graduates’ intentions regarding education and work. The groundlessness of some common views about the participants of these programs is shown. Those who choose such programs make a reasonable, purposeful choice of an educational institution and a future profession; their motives are the same as those of peers planning to enter universities. An important difference of their choice is materiality of the economic motives because these young people often come from the “weak” strata of society. After graduation from the school this is the most acceptable for them and effective continuation of the educational trajectory. At the same time, it is confirmed that such programs are more “transit” levels than higher education. But research has shown: this does not turn off their graduates from the labour market. Thus, one more common misconception is debunked: that these programs are often just a way to enter higher education institutions. At the same time, the multiplicity of ways to obtain higher education increases its accessibility for people from “weak” strata. This underlines the social role of secondary professional education.

education; secondary professional education; labor market; youth; choice of profession; social behavior; educational and professional trajectories


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