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If you live in Western Europe, you can follow your passion. If you live in Eastern Europe, you have to follow the job market.
It is more important to promote studies regarding your vocation than regarding the amount of job vacancies in that field. However, It is important to create number of job vacancies regards the demands of that field.
This may sound a little bit brutal but - YES. Obviously I do not mean forcing people to start studying things they are completely not interested in. I believe however, that there should be much more awareness among pupils of where the good work perspectives are. This knowledge should be outlined for them while still in an early stage of educations, so that they are able to make decisions weather to specialize in science or humanistic studies. I think that the whole process of education should be more focused on producing specialist in a particular field, than to giving young people a very broad, general knowledge of everything. For me, before choosing high school, every school should organise a series of meetings with people from various branches of business, that would critically asses the work perspective in their fields and truthfully tell the young, what their opportunities are.
Absolutely not, this would mean implementing a zero-sum vision of wealth creation. What should be taken into account is the potential productivity increase that a certain educational path can bring, and the range of applicability of the skills connected to it. And, since for most paths it's not easy at all to accurately forecast those things, we should just make it as easy as possible to accumulate skills, practice them hands-on, be rapidly hired, relocate, change paths and careers.
It's clear that a high percentage of students, when finishing their studies, aim for those jobs that offer a wider range of opportunities in the future. Nowadays, young people are looking for making money immediately and easily, specially spanish students, who have encountered a serious economic crisis in their country in the last decade. As a result of the recession, the spanish population is conditioned by the cutbacks made by the government in a broad variety of spheres, such as the academic, health and work fields. Consequently, they have changed their mind and have adopted a more practical way of thinking, prioritizing those jobs or works that make a high number of offer employment. Personally, I do not think that a quantitative evaluation of the number of offer employment, when the time comes to choose our studies, is the ideal option. Our decision should be based on our abilities and of course our vocation. Our verdicts in life should be guided by our vocation and choosing our studies appropriately is, in my opinion, one of the most important decisions in life. All in all, if we decide our studies or occupational training by listening our heart we will make the right decision. Not only us but also the whole world that depends on our work will be grateful if we think carefully what our abilities are and what we really love in life.
What the world needs and what the market needs, are not always the same things ... I think the world will always need people developing and innovating with passion any field, but the market does not always make room to "pay" for good ideas and professionalism. For example in Italy graduates in areas related to earth science (which studies earthquakes, volcanic eruptions...) are among the last in terms of rate of absorption into the labor market ... but Italy really needs these professionals. So my point is that it is not only a matter of the right to follow ones own passions (which is already a major issue), but also a change of perspective in the understanding of what the blind imperative "follow the market" would mean for the future of the whole society.
What I think is that we should not look all the time at the market while choosing our future. I live in Poland, where this mistake has been made plenty of times. After 1989 we had a lack of graduates, so the government started to push everyone on universities. Politicians, teachers and also parents told the teenagers, that the only thing they have to do is to pass the final exam (matura) and go to the university, no matter which one. They promised, that everyone will find a job, if one has a degree. On the beginning, it was so. The market needed well-educated employees. The foreign corporations and their newly-opened Polish branches would pay a lot to people with university degree in management or finance. But this kind of strategy could not work in the longer term. The number of graduates rose and the salary offered to them sank. People, who should have chosen vocational school, on the grounds of their abilities and ambitions, went to high schools with low level of education. They managed to pass the final exam with low results and had no other choice than going to bad university or academy. It was a real mass production of graduates. Of course, many of them realised their mistake at some point, but often it was too late for a change of mind. At the same time vocational schools have been loosing their students, what forced them to lower their standards in case of surviving. The school system started to obey the economical logic and schools started to behave like companies. They tried to attract more teenagers. The aim was always the same, but the methods were very diverse. Some offered the good quality of education, showing the achievements of their pupils, while others boasted of their renovated buildings and excellent furnishings. Students and their parents became customers, that had to choose the best product, instead of being partners in the complicated process of gaining knowledge and experience, called 'education'. Nowadays everyone can notice the outcome of this policy, but it doesn't change the way of thinking of this subject. Instead of promoting the career counselling and helping young people to choose the best option for them, the government pushes everyone to technical and vocational school, presenting the humanities and liberal arts as the choice for lazy, non-ambitious and less-talented ones, while the exact science guarantee the well-paid job and personal success. The effect of this policy is easy to predict. It's not a real change, it's just a role reversal. The only thing, that can be achieved in this way, is the rise of number of vocational school's students and the fall of university graduates, especially in faculties other that STEM. What can it cause? One more generation will be promised amazing jobs for a good salary and then will be accused that they haven't been working hard enough, when it will come up, that the work isn't so satisfying and well-paid, as they had been said. The market is of course the important factor to consider while choosing a school or a faculty, but we have to think about it differently. You want to be a teacher? You aren't sure, if you will find a job? Maybe, instead of changing your plans and abandoning your dreams, should you take a gap year to gain some experience volunteering abroad? Are you interested in politics? Maybe it's a better idea to become a member of a political party or other kind of organisation connected with politics that to force yourself to study maths or anything else you aren't good at, just to fit your environment expectations? We have to understand, that there is always a number of people interested in specified faculty and forcing them to change their minds will make them bad employees in a popular branch, when they could have been the best ones in another field. There's a huge difference between promoting quite unknown branch of knowledge to attract young people, who are really needed there and pushing teenagers without a reason to faculties, that are popular anyway and the lack of employees will soon disappear.
Obviously no! We are all different, we have different skills, passions. We all should do in our lives what we like to do. I believe that if you are passionate about something, you will be a great expert. Of course If you like math in general you can consider job market and offers. But never try to be engeneer if you are an artist only because market needs it. Furthermore, the need of employers changes so fast. What if you graduate physics and there is no need for them more? awfull. Always do what you like to do, otherwise you won't be happy...
No, because how could this be possible? There are so many studies without a clear job description. And if you limit some studies because you think you don't need much of these jobs, people who really want to study this won't be able to get accepted at the university because others have taken there place... Instead: Get the people into the right jobs! Right job means, the job they really love to do! In this job they will be the best and that will be good for happiness and the economics. It means for me: Do not shorten school duration and support social years after school. And I guess there are many more actions to take.
No. We should choose our studies based on passion, earnestness and interest. The students should let them choose their own profession but proper guidance should be well-established to achieve this goal.