For the seventh year in a row, Riga Technical University (RTU) has received the title of the most highly recommended university by Latvian employers in the survey, which is made by the Employers’ Confederation of Latvia (LDDK) in cooperation with the career and education portal prakse.lv. This is a clear indication that engineers and high-technology specialists are needed in the labour market and that they are best educated and trained for professional life at RTU.
«Employers’ assessment is of utmost importance, because they know best what is needed in the labour market, and when working with RTU graduates, they evaluate the knowledge acquired at a higher education institution. However, RTU not only follows the requirements of the labour market, but thanks to its scientific potential, which creates new technologies and knowledge, it also creates new professions and thus the labour market,» says RTU Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs, Professor Uldis Sukovskis.
Director General of the Employers’ Confederation of Latvia Līga Meņģelsone also says that the survey, in which RTU has been at the forefront for seven years, shows that employers recommend higher education institutions that provide education in engineering and natural sciences. She notes, however, that employers are worried that only 7.9% of young people choose to study in these areas, so «we want to signal young people and their families which areas are most in demand in the labour market,» says L. Meņģelsone.
Employers’ demand for engineering specialists coincides with the latest forecasts by the Ministry of Economics, which indicates that in 2025, the shortage of highly qualified specialists in the area of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) will increase to 17 000.
Among the first 100 study programmes recommended by employers, approximately one fourth is RTU programmes. Study programmes «Computer Systems» and «Civil Engineering» have been ranked among the top five. RTU is the only higher education institution that can boast of two study programmes that have been listed in the top five. Among the most recommended study programmes are also «Information Technology», «Power and Electrical Engineering», «Engineering Technology, Mechanics and Mechanical Engineering», «Logistics and Supply Chain Management», «Chemistry» and «Architecture».
RTU develops its study programmes together with industry representatives, adapting them to the needs of the labour market. For example, the new Professional Bachelor Study Programme «Finance Management Information Systems», proposed by RTU in cooperation with the BA School of Business and Finance for the first time to the applicants this year, has been developed directly at the request of the industry, as the banking system is becoming more computerized and increasingly complex solutions are needed; therefore, specialists are needed who are able to effectively develop specialized software for financial systems.
The list of employers’ recommended study programmes and higher education institutions has been made for the seventh year in a row. Its aim is to promote a well-considered choice of further education and career by primary and secondary school graduates taking into account the views of employers.
2654 companies have participated in the survey.
RTU has recently received international recognition for its high quality, and in the prestigious QS World University Rankings 2018 ranked 751-800. This indicator is the highest of the results of the evaluation of the three Latvian universities included in the rating. RTU reputation among employers, as well as the share of foreign students is highly rated.