Employability and Professional Future: The Importance of Higher Education

Our colleagues at the Rome Business School have been examining job market changes and employability in the time of Covid-19. Research conducted at the Rome Business School – Research Center charted the map of the professions of the future, the most requested skills, the new professional dynamics and the training on which individuals now have to focus in order to find a position in the future market. Below is a summary of the Report.

The research was complemented by a careful analysis of unemployment levels in Italy, in Europe and abroad, to then analyze skills and professional profiles that are expected to be the most requested on the  market during Covid-19, which will also absorb the impact of the take-over of automation and the cancellation of entire categories of professional profiles. Individuals now have to adapt and evolve and this evolution is helped by professional training courses that can guarantee optimal, long-lasting job positions with broad growth prospects.

The research opens our eyes to a picture of the labor market aimed at new challenges and important opportunities

In early 2020, Italy saw a large drop in employment, especially for young people and women. School dropout has also been growing: every year, high school loses between 120 thousand and 215 thousand units and about 25% of young people drop out. From 1995 to today, every year the Italian high school has “lost” a number of students ranging between 215,000 and 120,000 units. Meanwhile, by 2025, automation will involve 85 million new jobs in 15 sectors and 26 economies. This could erase 15% of existing profiles, bringing up new opportunities and 97 million new jobs in the care economy, AI and content creation.

In the next 15 to 20 years, around 14% of existing jobs could disappear due to automation processes and another 32% could change dramatically. For these same reasons, over 80% of business executives are accelerating plans to digitalise work processes and implement new technologies. 50% of employers expect to increase the levels of automation of some roles within their companies.

40% of the skills of the average worker will have to be updated to meet the demands of the new market. The role of postgraduate training and investment in high-content training models, focused on soft skills, are decisive. Despite the data confirming the effectiveness of possessing a degree in increasing job opportunities, companies will increasingly require specialist skills, often obtainable only through postgraduate degrees. In fact, one year after obtaining a Master’s degree, the overall employment rate was shown at 88.6%. This figure is consistent with the previous Employment Report issued by the Center, which found that 40% of students found a job even before finishing their course of study at Rome Business School.

The higher the level of training of the workforce, the greater the opportunities and the better also the salary conditions, especially with regard to postgraduate and Master’s studies. Provided that we master the key resources of the future considered fundamental by companies especially in the context of professions, those in which wage growth is more consistent, and cannot be replaced by machines. Among these, critical thinking skills, problem solving, self-management skills, active learning, resistance to stress and flexibility are in the lead.

In Italy, in the coming decades it will become decisive to adopt a so-called T-shaped training system. Based on a deep and solid vertical line that defines the professionalism of the executives and another higher horizontal line that allows people to work in different roles and contexts, merging the two essential concepts of multidisciplinarity and multiculturalism.

You can find out more about the work conducted at the Rome Business School research centre here.

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