On the Training of Engineers for High-Tech Industries (Employers’ View)
Dr. Sci. (Philos.), Head of the Center for the Sociology of Education and Science of the Institute of Sociology of FCTAS RAS, Professor at the National Research University “Moscow Power Engineering Institute”, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal “Sociological Studies”, Moscow, Russia Kliucharev@mail.ru
The employment of universities graduates in accordance with the acquired specialty (specialization) and qualifications (set of competencies) remains a serious problem. According to research data, this figure does not exceed 40–60% of the total number of graduates, depending on the specialty. The statistical authorities data are slightly better, but the fact of employment within the year of graduation, reflected in this indicator, does not take into account specialty and qualification of the graduates. Another useful indicator – recently introduced – are the data of Federal pension foundation, which receives employer deductions from earnings of employed young people. But it does not take into account the so-called shadow employment, which in case of youth might be up to 30%. Sociological services operating at all large and medium-sized universities – which provide contacts with graduates and aggregate data on their employment – are trying to investigate the situation. This information is used for advertising purposes when recruiting the next set of applicants to the universities. However, the original opinion of employers remains a most objective indicator of the demand for graduates in this domain. The article presents and analyzes the opinions of successful employers (N = 50, different regions of Russia) on improving the training of engineering and technical personnel for high-tech industries. This area is chosen because of its special significance in the development of the national economy. Following issues are discussed: recruitment strategies, cooperation with universities – basic departments; internships and practices of students, teachers, specialists; small innovative enterprises. The ideal educational model – as employers see it – is also in the focus of the narrative.