Should we study what we want because we enjoy it or should we respond to the demands of the market when choosing our major to have a higher chance of getting a job after we graduate?
This is definitely a question that students struggle with all over the world when finishing high school. In Brno, we had an opportunity to listen to this topic in a panel discussion that was part of the National Boards Meeting of the Erasmus Students Network.
One of the participants of the panel was Radka Vicarova, International Programmes Coordinator at Masaryk University, who is responsible for incoming Erasmus+ students. We asked her a few questions about the topic. Let’s see what she had to share!
The discussion was part of the Erasmus Student Network (ESN) meeting, what’s the relation between this organization and the labor market?
ESN is trying to make international experience an element of education for all students and a part of lifelong learning. HR departments, when looking for new employees, consider the time students spend abroad because it gives them an advantage over other applicants. Therefore, we can say that ESN is helping to improve the initial position of recent graduates when searching for a job.
You are in touch with international students on regular basis. Does studying in Czech Republic help them get a job?
In general, I would say that studying abroad helps. Lot of students, when applying for a job, ask me to send them a confirmation of living in Brno and studying in English. Studying, living, or working abroad builds independence and shows the ability to adapt to different life or work situations. It also demonstrates their capacity for using English in different environments, which is a very important and demanded skill.
What were some of the problems that students faced when choosing their studies?
The problem is that students often start studying for a degree that is in high demand at the beginning of their studies but the situation changes before they finish university.
Is there a way out?
Personally, I think that everyone should follow his or her own instincts and study what they enjoy. The challenge might come after the graduation when they have to make their degree and experiences compatible with the demands of the market. Adding the experience of studying or working abroad can provide that extra help they might need.