On Thursday, July 5, the Employers' Confederation of Latvia (LDDK) in collaboration with the career portal Prakse.lv announced the results of survey dedicated to employers' most recommended educational institutions and study programmes. For the second year in a row, the bachelor's study programme "Computer Science" at the University of Latvia (UL) Faculty of Computer Science remains the most recommended by the employers.

The study programme "Computer Science" has received 158 employers' recommendations, by 13 recommendations surpassing the last year's result. Guntis Arnicāns, Dean of the UL Faculty of Computer Science emphasizes that there are several reasons for the positive assessment by employers.

"First of all, the high-quality knowledge provided by excellent teaching staff. Secondly, the practice in the industry, whereby our programme differs from many others, including those offered by higher education programmes abroad – the internship lasts four months, providing students with the experience and additional knowledge that enables rapid integration into the labour market, and, moreover, students can better understand and consider the direction of their further study specialisation. It is currently the only bachelor's programme in Latvia that has been awarded the Euro-Inf Quality Label confirming its quality and ability to compete with other European higher education study programmes," explains G. Arnicāns.

Overall, three UL study programmes have entered the TOP 10. The 7th place is given to the bachelor's study programme "Communication Science" at the UL Faculty of Social Sciences, while the 10th place has been taken by the bachelor's study programme "Management Science" at the UL Faculty of Business, Management and Economics. TOP 50 of programmes recommended by employers also includes the UL bachelor's study programmes "Law", "Accounting, Analysis and Audit", "Economics", "Chemistry", as well as the professional higher education bachelor's study programme "Financial Management" and master's study programme "Computer Science".

The results of the survey reveal that this year the recommended occupations most frequently indicated by employers include the specialties of information and communication technology industry along with various business support activities such as marketing, finance and accounting. The creators of the Top emphasize – the fact that these professions and the educational institutions preparing the respective specialists are often indicated, confirm that these are the areas where at present it is a challenge to find knowledgeable and qualified employees.

The UL is the second most recommended higher education institution in Latvia by employers, outpaced only by Riga Technical University. The Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies takes the 3rd place, followed by the Business School "Turība", The BA School of Business and Finance, Rīga Stradiņš University, RISEBA, Stockholm School of Economics in Riga, Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences and Transport and Telecommunication Institute.

The survey, which took place from June 20 to July 3, gathered the opinions of 2640 companies, proving that employers are interested in motivating and inspiring young people in their future career choices. "The Top of educational institutions and study programmes recommended by employers is a good informative tool for graduates, since various companies from Latvia who are interested in entry of qualified specialists in the labour market participated in it," says Director General of LDDK Līga Meņģelsone.

Representatives of companies in Latvia actively participated in creating the Top to recommend those educational institutions and study programmes, which, according to their experience to date, provide the knowledge and skills in the specific professions that are most relevant on the labour market. The authors of the Top find that 93% of the graduates take into account the employers' opinion when choosing a their study direction. This is also evidenced by the increasing visit to the Top section in the portal Prakse.lv – during the last academic year it has been viewed by 260 000 people.

"We encourage young people to base their education choices on a rational approach and listen to the recommendations of employers because they can assess the young people prepared by educational institutions from the perspective of their professional qualities and suitability to the labour market. The employers can tell which schools educate the best graduates," says Jānis Logins, Head of Prakse.lv.

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