Universities, polytechnics, academies and colleges tempt candidates with good job prospects and high earnings after completing the courses they offer. We check to what extent these offers meet the challenges of the future.
The rapidly changing environment in which we live forces us to change the way we think about the future. In a few years, not to mention a dozen or several dozen years, the social, economic and cultural reality will look completely different than it does now. The climate crisis, deepening inequalities, aging society and technological progress are some of the main, but not the only, challenges we will have to face. This entails a revolution on the labor market that is already happening before our eyes.
The Future of Jobs Report 2020 prepared by the World Economic Forum shows that by 2025, 89 million jobs will completely disappear in the world, but there will be a demand for new professions on the market. According to estimates, as many as 97 million new positions will be created in the next few years. In turn, Natalia Hatalska’s Infuture Institute indicated a few years ago in one of its reports that “65 percent children born after 2007 will work in professions that do not exist yet”
Polish universities are trying to respond to the challenges of the future and adapt their offers, at least to some extent, to them.
The rapid development of new technologies will result in many works being automated. Therefore, there will be a demand for specialists in automation, robotics, design, algorithm management, artificial intelligence and data analysis. In the digital world, programming will become one of the most desired skills.
The offer of several Polish universities already includes automation and robotics, and in virtually every city at academies, universities and vocational schools you can find studies in computer science, analytical computer science or applied computer science. However, newer and narrower specialties in this field will probably appear.
You can learn data analysis and processing at, among others, the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, the University of Łódź or the Warsaw School of Economics. The Poznań university also offers interdisciplinary studies in the field of Internet of Things applications.
The world will be flooded with data
Knowledge in the field of artificial intelligence can be acquired at the Poznań University of Technology. From this academic year, this field was also launched by the Catholic University of Lublin, and several other universities offer this area as a specialization in other fields. In turn, the portfolio of the Casimir the Great University in Bydgoszcz includes a course under the mysteriously sounding name of second-generation humanities, which educates future game designers and testers.
As technology develops and more and more data is processed, specialists in network security, IT and telecommunications systems, as well as data protection will be sought. They are educated by, among others, the Military University of Technology in Warsaw in the field of cryptology and cybersecurity, and the Wrocław University of Science and Technology in the field of cybersecurity.
Space is open
Another area that will gain popularity is the conquest of space. The field of space and satellite engineering, offered by the above-mentioned Military University of Technology in Warsaw, is intended to prepare students for work in the field of innovative space and satellite technologies. Aerospace engineering is also offered by, among others, the Silesian University of Technology.
In addition to specialists in the field of new technologies and digital competences, we will need experts in environmental management and dealing with climate change, as well as those who can implement changes in the spirit of sustainable development. There are already many fields of study at Polish universities that respond to these challenges.
This academic year, the University of Life Sciences in Poznań opened a major in climate management engineering, which is intended to prepare students to counteract climate change and effectively mitigate the effects of climate change. Management and adaptation to climate change is a proposal of the University of Life Sciences in Lublin.
Wrocław University of Science and Technology offered candidates the field of circular economy and climate protection, and previously studies in renewable energy sources. You can also learn about the latter, as well as in the field of clean air engineering, at the Krakow University of Technology. In turn, at the Jagiellonian University, students started this year in the field of sustainable development chemistry, at the University of Natural Sciences and Humanities in Siedlce they are exploring issues related to recycling and waste management, and at the Gdańsk University of Technology they are learning about green technologies.
An increasingly older society
Due to the aging of society, employees who care for or accompany older people, as well as specialized staff undertaking various activities for seniors, will be extremely desirable. There are more and more places where you can acquire such knowledge, but often the learning takes place as part of a specialization in social work or as part of postgraduate studies. Postgraduate studies in psychogerontology, offered by the University of Wrocław, or psychogerontology – specialist for seniors at SWPS University in Warsaw, are intended to prepare for this type of classes.
In turn, graduates of the inter-university major in biomedical technology, run jointly by the Warsaw University of Life Sciences and the Faculty of Chemistry of the University of Warsaw, are to be prepared to create new solutions for medicine and pharmacy. In response to the dynamic development of medicine, the field of radiogenomics was created at the University of Warsaw.
How to overtake others?
Meanwhile, the Krakow University of Science and Technology, which offers postgraduate studies in the analysis and forecasting of business, social and economic trends (Trendwatching & Futures Studies), has met the needs of people who are interested in forecasting the future and want to be “one step ahead of others”.
In the face of such far-reaching changes on the labor market, work advisors will also have a lot to do. Management of development and change of career path is already being learned, for example by students of postgraduate studies at the Kozminski University in Warsaw.
Young people sense the change
Recruitment statistics for studies in the 2022/2023 academic year confirm that interest in fields of study that will meet the challenges of the future and the changing labor market is growing. The ranking published by the Ministry of Education and Science shows that the second most frequently chosen discipline was technical computer science. Computer science also turned out to be the most popular field in full-time first-cycle studies and long-cycle master’s studies, taking into account the total number of applications. In turn, looking at the number of applicants for one place, social informatics took second place. Almost 25 people fought for one place. Slightly fewer, 22 people, wanted to get into green technologies.