The job of the future? You’ll learn it at university: here are the professionalizing degrees

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They might be launched as early as the next academic year, they are fifteen overall and have been created with a single mission: to become a concrete vehicle that can guide young people toward the labour market.

For this reason, in the decree that marked their birth, they are defined by the Italian Education Ministry as "professionalizing degrees”. They are 3-year courses that offer a well-defined "journey": in the first two years, students acquire the necessary theoretical training, while the third year involves companies in a practical and direct way, the latter becoming fundamental for the students’ graduation.

What skills do students acquire? Technology and digitization will be the two cornerstones, though paying attention also to the world of traction, building and the food industry. The new 5-year course in Data Science is certainly worthy of note and aims to train professionals capable of acquiring, integrating, analysing and interpreting large amounts of data, using IT and mathematical-statistical techniques within public and private companies and administrations, including scientific or technological research institutes or entities.

Also the 5-year course in Mechatronic Engineering deserves to be mentioned: this is an engineering branch that studies intelligent mechanical systems for their use in industrial and civil contexts, in order to simplify human work. Three different subjects fall within the scope of mechatronic engineering: mechanics, electronics and computer sciences. Its main fields of application? Robotics and industrial automation. A Mechatronic Engineering graduate can find a job in the manufacturing, automotive, aeronautical-space sectors, which are all growing very fast.

Not to speak of materials sciences - available both as a 3-year and as a 5-year course - a faculty which is designed to provide students with knowledge and skills relating to the chemical and physical properties of materials, through a series of techniques that are experimental for their characterisation. The course is thus designed to train future laboratory technicians together with research and quality assurance managers in companies for the development and transformation of materials.

The list is completed, among others, by courses in engineering for the intelligent industry, wood engineering, industrial technologies, land management, boat mastering, management techniques for the building industry, safety engineering and agribusiness.

Therefore, when choosing a university course, increasing attention is being paid to the labour market: as indicated in the report Previsione dei Fabbisogni Occupazionali in Italia a medio termine [Forecast of occupational needs over the medium-term in Italy] (2018-2022) by Unioncamere, ANPAL and Sistema Informativo Excelsior, which analyses the job offers posted online in Italy, most of the rising professions are connected to technological progress: Data Scientists, Cloud Computing Experts, Cyber Security Experts, Business Intelligence Analysts, Big Data Analysts and Social Media Managers. According to data, between 2014 and 2017 there was a 280% increase in job ads for all these figures.