Developing the System of Attracting Talented Young People to the Engineering Educational and Career Paths: The Russian Problem Field and Empirical Research on School Graduates’ Expectations
A decline in the popularity of engineering education is one of the most urgent challenges for the educational community in many countries of the world, including the Russian Federation. In the formation process of capitalist relations in the Russian Federation in the 1990s – early 2000s, the system of higher education was focused on the preparation of specialists in the field of economics, management and law, which were needed for the new economy.
With the saturation of the labour market and the development of industrial modernization processes in the late 2000s, the demand for highly skilled engineers in industries began to revive, at the same time, over the past, the popularity of engineering career paths among young people decreased significantly. The present work describes the preliminary results of the study on the perception of educational and career paths by graduates of Russian schools, who took the elective unified state exam in physics (USEP) in 2015. The goal of the study was to identify the main features of the target audience, applicants who pass the USEP, as a category of pupils who are most likely prone to choosing an engineering career path. Within the framework of the study, a questionnaire survey of 2030 applicants from 78 regions of the Russian Federation, who pass the USEP, was conducted. The results of the study reflected a fairly high level of understanding of the choice of engineering education and career path among applicants, the presence of significant differences between the total set of research targets and a group of winners and runner-ups of subject-oriented academic competitions (medallists) allowed determining promising areas of work aimed at attracting students to the engineering education and career paths.