Smaller numbers present a challenge for education

According to a Ministry of Education study, there will be a need for fewer Master’s degree holders and more vocationally trained people in the future.

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What makes the situation interesting from the academic perspective is that the younger generations are substantially better educated then their elders. That is to say, the majority of jobs that become available in the next ten years will not require university education.

For example, the amount of agriculture and forest work and office work is expected to decrease dramatically, and only some of the industrial jobs that become vacant need to be filled.

In contrast, more labour will be needed in construction, services, and social and health care. The demand for university degree holders is expected to increase in the fields of medicine and law.

Basically, there will be substantial investment in production and research and development that require special skills in the future. It is expected that there will be considerable demand for technical specialist services and business skills, too.

Simultaneously, there are plans to decrease the annual student intake of universities in the field of the humanities by 600–900 places. Perhaps surprisingly, the study also suggests that the need for education will decrease in the fields of natural sciences and information and communication technology. This is because in the past few years, a large number of young people have been trained in these fields, and they are not expected to retire for decades.

According to Ministry of Labour estimates, Finland will see more than 900,000 employees retire in the next 15 years.


Text: Mikko Arvinen
Photo: Veikko Somerpuro
30.5.2007
www.helsinki.fi/digitalcommunications
Translation: Valtasana Oy


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