I don´t know what to study! Tips for choosing your future carreer

A student’s professional future is often defined upon the basis of his/her chosen university degree or vocational training pathway. This decision is no easy task, so it’s always a good idea to be aware of the current employment outlook, to keep abreast of trends and, above all, not to overlook advice on how to choose an education with a future.

What should I study? A very common question. But, in order to choose a future career, it’s essential to understand the current employment context and bear some tips in mind.
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In the 16th University Trends Survey for 2021 conducted by the Francisco de Vitoria University among pupils in their first year of Baccalaureate studies, only approximately 7% said they didn’t know what to study while the remaining 92% were sure about their vocation. About 46.6% of them had decided on their studies at the time of the survey. However, the same study found that over 75% said that the information on guidance received at their study centres was insufficient and that they would have liked to have “more tools” to make their decision.

In view of the question about what to study at university, in recent years in Spain there’s been an increase in the number of academic centres that have opted for the application of career guidance models, which have already enjoyed a certain degree of relevance and success in other countries. As indicated by Euroguidance, there’s a growing consensus that academic, vocational and personal development guidance at schools will lead to more efficient decision-making among young people.

University and career guidance, a key factor

Career guidance is regarded as a key factor in the educational projection of students, as it can benefit young people personally, academically and vocationally and enable them to plan their future after their compulsory education. 

It’s therefore important for academic institutions to implement a university and career guidance programme that’s integrated into the curriculum and complementary to the students’ information, as this will help them to resolve any queries when they don’t know what to study.

Tips to guide you through the initial stages of your professional future

For students who don’t yet know what to study or remain unsure about their vocation, when it’s time to decide it’s best to take a break and bear in mind some basic advice.

– Discover yourself

Reflecting on your abilities and skills is an important factor when it comes to steering your academic future.

– Basic information

Knowing what’s on offer on the vocational training and university circuits and for compulsory and optional subjects, specialisations, internships, options for studying abroad, the school’s resources, the length of studies and the costs will help to rule out some choices.

– Research the labour market

Which degrees provide the most career opportunities? Which qualifications attract the most or the least number of students? What’s the demand for labour in each sector? These are some of the useful questions that will give you an idea of what the future working environment will be like.

– Take all interests into account

In addition to knowing your personal interests and researching the market’s realities, it’s essential to think about your future. Search for the training that best suits your skills and tastes and provides a chance for you to develop your full potential in the labour market. It’s vital to feel a degree of attraction and motivation for the actual functions you’ll perform later.

– Contact professionals

Monitor specialised professionals’ track records and contact them, attend career guidance fairs and talk to former students to learn more about their experiences and the reality of accessing the labour market.

– Decide for yourself

There are factors that may push you towards one option or the other, but bear in mind that your decision is vocational and personal. However, you have to listen to the advice of those around you, as nobody can make the decision on their own. 

– Personal realisation

The decision will shape your academic and professional destiny, so this guidance isn’t a mere means of economic subsistence, it will also be an instrument for your personal fulfilment and a social bond.

The most in-demand professional profiles

The requirements of the labour market are shaping the professional future of young people, and, in the wake of the health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, they’re conditioning the demand for professionals among companies. In 2021 Medicine and Biomedicine were the degrees offering the most career opportunities in Spain, according to the 2021 Adecco Infoempleo Report titled Employment Supply and Demand in Spain. Nursing remained in second place. In third place, as the study indicates, came Business Administration and Management, followed by the dual degree in Business Administration and Management and Law, Industrial Engineering and Computer Engineering.

The VET training cycles with the highest number of offers from companies are those related to administrative management and those linked to the health sector, including Auxiliary Care and Clinical Laboratory Technicians. It should be recalled that VET employability is continuing to increase every year. 

Shortage of technological profiles

Spain has around 120,400 unfilled jobs in the area of the new technologies due to a lack of digital professionals, according to the study by DigitalES published in 2022. Moreover, STEM degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics are continuing to lose students at universities and registering lower female participation. The above is confirmed by the latest report of the Conference of Rectors of Spanish Universities (CRUE). Enrolments for these specialised subjects in Spain fell by 6.1% between 2013 and 2017.

Despite the above, the labour market is still in need of digital professionals specialising in data analytics, cybersecurity, programming, Blockchain, automation, Artificial Intelligence and software development. Similarly, there exists a growing demand for profiles linked to other technological environments such as the metaverse, the cloud and Fintech.


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