In need of 39,000 engineers and technicians

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The general entrance exam will be held soon and many young people will need to choose their profession. This is a very important time and it is not only a matter of one person’s life but one that will determine the future development of the country.

According to the latest study conducted by the Ministry of Education and Science, 39,000 engineers and technicians will be needed in the next five years to carry out and continue large-scale projects and programs in Mongolia. However, in the last five years, only 14,000 specialists have been trained in this field. Therefore, there is a need to determine the number of jobs, development projects and programs, and professions that are needed in society based on research and calculations. Experts also suggest that choosing a profession that is in high demand will help young people have more job opportunities and avoid suffering from unemployment and poverty.

Some teachers say that fewer people have been choosing a career in science and engineering in recent years. Undergraduate programs in some fields of science and social services have the lowest enrollment rate. Therefore, there is a presumption of labor force shortage in the most needed sectors in the future.

Head of Higher and Vocational Education Management and Coordination Department of the Ministry of Education and Science Kh.Tamir said, “Many students think that science is difficult. A lot of students tend to spend less time on lessons that they will not be examined for the general entrance exam, usually science, and limit their career choices, believing that their poor scores on science subjects will negatively affect the success and reputation of their high school and their future. The enrollment in science courses has also declined due to several factors, including job value, social security, and low wages. The development of any sector depends on the human resource capacity and its impact on the country’s development. Therefore, the legal framework to support students in priority and in-demand majors and programs is being updated.”

“To lead the country’s development and increase the number of human resources in the industrial and engineering sector, it is necessary to conduct research and base calculations in relation to the training of human resources necessary for the sustainable implementation of the New Revival Policy, mega projects and ongoing industrial activities. For instance, we’ll need at least 39,000 engineers and technicians over the next five years. However, in the last five years, only 14,000 engineers graduated. If this continues, there will be less opportunity to train engineers and technicians in the next five years. In the last five years, about 40,000 people have earned degrees in law and business administration, but there aren’t available job vacancies. The professions we need now are engineers and technicians in railway construction, oil production, renewable energy, mining processing, transportation and logistics, nanotechnology, information technology and industrial automation engineering.”

Science and technology priorities must also be considered. For instance, there is a need for a new level of government support and scholarship policy for students majoring in biotechnology, nanotechnology, and genetic engineering, who play key roles in national development. Efforts are being made to prioritize higher and vocational education, update the list of in-demand programs, streamline credit and scholarship policies, and shift program quality assessment criteria to performance-based methodologies.

In the past, about 40 percent of those who took out loans from the Education Fund studied law and business administration but in recent years, loans have been provided to students majoring in priority fields.

On the other hand, children need to be taught science lessons well from an early age. Many people say they don’t like math. But the reason they don’t like it is that they find it hard and don’t understand its principles well enough. Therefore, there is a need to pay more attention to science programs of secondary schools such as mathematics and physics and train good teachers in this field. Students should also be introduced to the importance of these professions and their rising value in the future.

Although it is an individual choice when it comes to deciding one’s profession, everyone understands that professions that are not in demand do not provide scholarships or student loans and that it’ll be hard to find a job after graduation. Choosing a profession that will be less in demand and may be no longer needed in the future may lead you to regret your decision for the rest of your life. Many experts advise not to choose certain professions. For instance, Head of Mongol Bank B.Lkhagvasuren once said, “The bank teller will disappear soon. Computer software has replaced the job of a loan economist. The 13 commercial banks in Mongolia have a loan economist now, but with this new software, it will be possible to better analyze loan applicants.”

With the advancement of science and technology today, some occupations will no longer be needed in the coming years and new occupations will be created. For instance, Business Insider reported on such a list and it included technological and medical professions, with renewable energy technicians and engineers at the top of the list. Solar and wind energy are predicted to become the main source of energy for humankind and the price of this type of energy is declining from year to year. Demand for solar and wind energy engineers is growing around the world and the average annual salary for this profession in 2019 was 42,680 USD and today, it’s risen significantly with just the base salary reaching over 70,000 USD.

Engineers and technicians are followed by licensed nurses, software developers, general and operations managers, financial planners, and accountants. Looking at the general trend, researchers say that there is a high demand for automation engineers. This is because as the accuracy of the equipment develops, their jobs are likely to change tremendously. For instance, experts predict that the delivery of pizzas will be replaced by drones in the next five years, so a specialist will be needed to operate these drones. The results of the survey can be considered realistic as they are based on salaries. According to a study by Nesta, the teaching profession will always be in demand because robots cannot perform it. The study indicates that the next important occupation is sports coaches and nutritionists as in the next decade, the millennials will pay more attention to exercise and spend more time in the gym.

But in Mongolia, it is different depending on the development trend. The Authority for Family, Child and Youth Development is an implementing agency under the Ulaanbaatar Mayor’s Office that has conducted a professional study on the future demand of jobs in Mongolia and it highlights professions such as engineers and technicians, marketing managers, information technology specialists, construction engineers, auto construction engineers, mining engineers and project managers.

Information technology and automation specialists are on the list of popular professions not only in Mongolia but internationally. The information technology sector is a unique sector that allows people to work independently, regardless of location. In other words, it is a profession that can be done from anywhere in the world. Unfortunately, the number of graduates in this field has been declining in recent years due to the lack of jobs in this sector, the small market, and the lack of security.

Anyone with sophisticated skills and expertise that a robot can’t replace will remain valuable. Therefore, it is important for high school seniors and graduates to choose a profitable profession based on their interests and specialize in a profession that allows them to shine.

However, most young Mongolians apply for a university and course that their parents choose for them, without researching or looking at the list of professions that are or will be in high demand. About 54.6 percent of Mongolian universities are public and 45.4 percent are private. About 44.2 percent of graduates of private universities have a degree in business administration, and almost one in two graduates has a degree in business administration. However, the fact that so many people are graduating from this profession makes it even more difficult to find a job.

Former Head of the Authority for Family, Child and Youth Development S.Sukh-Ochir said, “Anyone can choose any profession and work. I think the most important thing is to be proficient in one’s profession. In this regard, it is important to carefully study the profession you are going to choose and know the nature of the profession. There are more than 9,000 professions in the world and these professions are divided into five groups: human interaction, nature interaction, technical, character system, and artistic interaction. I would advise younger generations to choose a profession that is in high demand.”

Which profession people choose depends on their own choice, but since it affects their life and quite frankly, the development of the nation at large, it’s highly recommendable for people to choose a profession that is or will be in high demand.

Enkhnaranjav Tumurbaatar