Shortage of talent is a daily recurring topic on news and current affairs programmes. “Talent shortage poses a threat to investments in Finland.” “Up to 80 per cent of employers report problems finding the skills and talent required.” What are the fields suffering from a shortage of talent, and why?
The national career monitoring survey, jointly conducted by Finnish universities, indicates the fields of education in which students secure employment right after graduation and the fields in which it takes longer to find a job.
The development of information and communications technologies and the increasing role played by automation are well known, and the skills and talent shortage in IT and engineering is hardly anything new. In these fields, 80 per cent of graduates find employment within one month, and many of them secure a permanent contract.
It takes slightly longer to find a job in the fields of arts and humanities, in which around 60 per cent of graduates find employment within one month. Nevertheless, after six months of graduation, only 20 per cent are still unemployed, and nearly everyone finds a job in their field within one year of graduation.
The demand for customer service and sales and marketing professionals exceeds the supply. According to the career monitoring survey, 80 per cent of people with a degree in business and administration find employment within one month of graduation, and nearly everyone finds a job within three months.
The supply of professionals in sustainability and environmental matters also does not meet demand. The field of environment spans many fields of education. Studies in environmental sciences are offered by the University of Eastern Finland, the University of Jyväskylä and the University of Helsinki. A total of 39 graduates with a master’s degree from these institutions responded to the career monitoring survey. The field of environment also includes biology and environmental technology, and graduates in these fields are in great demand in our current societies dealing with environmental problems.
Physicians are in short supply across the country, so much so that it is becoming difficult to secure a doctor’s appointment, prolonging and aggravating many health problems. Graduates in medicine certainly do not have trouble finding employment if they are prepared to relocate for a job.
On-the-job learning is efficient, but general skills are learned at university
Work calls for solid mastery of substance but also for general skills, or soft workplace skills.
According to the respondents to the career monitoring survey, university education develops many general skills, including problem-solving skills, self-direction, stress tolerance and collaboration skills. However, the workplace is the best environment for learning a number of other general skills such as those related to negotiations and project management.
A sought-after professional in your field
I am a multi-skilled fifty-something with three children, the oldest of whom is studying mechanical engineering. Having read the results of the career monitoring survey, I am convinced this education will be in demand after my child graduates.
My two younger ones are interested in the humanities. One of them wants to become an editor, and the other one plans to become a specialist in an as yet unspecified field. It makes me smile, but I find it wonderful that young people show confidence in their skills.
Go ahead and become a sought-after professional in your field! While it is important to focus on substance knowledge, it is also important to develop other skills. You can improve your interaction, collaboration and negotiation skills, resilience, stress tolerance and creativity during studies, at work and in hobbies. I promise you will continue to learn throughout life.
Check the latest results of the career monitoring survey in the Vipunen statistics service provided by the education administration to see what the situation is like for experts in your field!
Author: Satu Räsänen, DPhil, physical geographer and communications expert
Osaajapula uhkana Suomeen tuleville investoinneille (in Finnish)