The participants of the “Live and learn: educational trajectories of young professionals and future competencies” panel discussion which was a part of the Petersburg International Economic Forum XXIV answered the moderator`s questions. The moderator was Alexander Baizarov, Advisor of the Director of GSOM SPbU.
The session was dedicated to the discussion of the higher and additional education ratio problem, the gap between university background and the current needs of the labor market, requirements made to young specialists at the beginning of their careers, and the young managers` opinion about that.
Thus, Pavel Rubakhin, Director for Strategic Development of Digital Services of Raiffeisenbank, speaking about the personal characteristics necessary for the start of successful work of a young specialist in any company, called, firstly, the ability to literally "break down walls". He meant to make larger efforts to solve the problem that seems to be unsolvable in the beginning. The second useful skill mentioned by Pavel is the ability to build communications because frequently you have to organize the work of people who are not going to break the walls. As Pavel mentioned, he developed these skills at University. In 2021 he became a nominee of Russian Forbes “30 under 30” in the “Finance and investments” category.
Zoon New Business Development Director Anton Boyko taking into account his own job experience has formulated the requirements for newcomers in the form of “four virtues”. The first is structured thinking, the second is to hear the interlocutor and negotiate, the third is self regulation, to manage personal stress in order to avoid professional burnout. And the last and the most important virtue is the presence of good will and willingness to develop yourself as it is impossible to learn other virtues without this one.
From the point of view of Alexander Kapitonov, the Dean of the Faculty of Information and Communication Technologies of ITMO University, to develop any soft skills (including those mentioned by Anton Boyko) you will need a serious base. Only fundamental education is able to play its role. University education at the moment is the only effective way to train the human neural circuits in the way to teach him to find non-trivial solutions for extraordinary problems. It certainly does not negate the need to develop other, primarily, social skills.
Alexander Laryanovkiy, the Managing Partner of SkyEng, added after that that, according to his belief, private education is a public education error buffer. This state of affairs, in his opinion, is natural because public universities cannot afford a lot of things to do due to some objective reasons. But he believes that the set of knowledge “uploaded” to a Russian at school and University, usually, is just a “data set” without any corresponding algorithms of processing and implementation. An adequate young man will fill these shoes by himself. But, he added, that the primary aim of education is to train the neural circuits to predict the development of predictable situations.
Vadim Rosenstein, the Head of WR Group Holding, mentioned, in turn, that while hiring employees he separately pays attention to the personal traits of a person without which his professional competencies can be not that important. The main thing to pay attention to is openness. Vadim explained that he considers the trait as an economic category though it is not a talk about the firm's income in the conventional sense. It is important to create the atmosphere where the energy and motivation circulate in harmony - trust is indispensable here.
Maria Golyandrina, the Deputy General Director for Personnel Management and Social Policy of the First Freight Company, paid special attention to the problem of communication between employers and alumni who have no real working experience. According to her own observations, the interviews look like “a collision of two different worlds”. HR Professional is able to choose an appropriate and perspective candidate even in this situation but still they have to encourage youth by any means to practice. Also, Maria mentioned that the ability to integrate into a unique team of a concrete company is more important than any hard and soft skills.
Andrey Sebrant, the Director for Strategic Marketing at Yandex, said that the term “trajectory” is extremely popular these days in terms of education and career building. As a man that was “not lazy and a bit jive” at high school and now works in such profession, which barely could be imagined at his young days, he underlined that even navigator calculates different routes to the desired point. All of them have advantages: one is faster, another is more interesting, and the third one has fewer turns. In his opinion, the people who at the school graduation set final goals, for example, by the age of 30, doom themselves to a “monstrously dull” life. Andrey Serbant encourages the audience not to forget that in the nearest future there will be plenty of new specialties (professions) and nobody can forecast which of them will be the best for you. That is why he advised not to pursue the diplomas.
The Representative of W20 in Russia Elena Myakotnikova gave the personal example picking up the topic of unexpected career twists: at University, finance was the unloved specialization of hers, but her career for long years was built around it exactly. Now, as the speaker admitted, she takes additional courses of neurobiology and medicine and does not exclude the possibility that in 10 years she will work in the industry that is completely different from the one, where she was successful for the first 25 years of her career. In Elena`s opinion it is good when there is no already mentioned previously verified trajectory.
In the final of the event, after the Q&A session with the audience, the discussion participants made a blitz forecast of the most professions of the future answering the question of Alexander Baizarov. Among them were product management, developments in the field of artificial intelligence, cross-disciplinary combinations of biotechnology, robotics, engineering and mathematics. The recommendation to behave like an inner entrepreneur became important advice: a person with an entrepreneurial spirit will always be able to organize a product based on technology; just inventing is not enough. Finally, the main wish of the youth audience was to find themselves in the occupation that they sincerely like the most. Perhaps, a higher education will not be needed for this.
“At GSOM SPbU, We actively follow the development and growth trajectories of our alumni — and we see several interesting things here. First, the correct mindset is very important — a picture of the world, a way of thinking and values that we form in our students. Of the competencies, 4C is important: effective communication, effective collaboration, creative and critical thinking. It is extremely important to be able to work in a variety of teams - cross-functional, with different dynamics, different goals. And to enter the labor market, you need relevant professional knowledge and applied skills” — said Alexander Baizarov, Advisor to the Director of GSOM SPbU.
The discussion “Live for a century: educational trajectories of young professionals and the competencies of the future” was held at the PIEF Junior. Event recording