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Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences
This article examines matters associated with social-humanitarian professions in the emerging “digital society” as regarded by current college students, who are slated to look for jobs in the near future and, consequently, to adapt to swiftly changing conditions on the labor market. Based on material from a sociological study conducted by the authors in 2019, it is shown how students who are absorbing professional social-humanitarian knowledge perceive and assess the role and significance of their own profession in a digital world, with their expectations, apprehensions and methods of social adaptation being subject to analysis. The basis for analyzing subjective representations was 26 semi-structured interviews with Moscow students mastering educational programs of social-humanitarian professional training orientation. The respondents admitted that the world is quickly changing, and that in a digital society we should expect a restructuring of the professional realm. Young people assume that social-humanitarian professions will be in demand in the future, though they could gain new substance as a result of the extensive adoption of digital technologies in professional practices. The study allowed for determining young students’ views on what sort of competences will be the most demanded of specialists in the social-humanitarian field once we build a digital society.
Within the model of competencies formulated by the respondents, the highest ranking turned out to be skills of the cognitive, communicative and digital variety. However, students are concerned with potentially excessive demands for qualification on behalf of employers when it comes to the “digital” competencies of humanitarian college graduates. According to respondents, encountering such demands will be the most serious risk when the time comes to find a job. Also, in the minds of respondents, the traits required of modern specialists also include adaptability and the ability to continuously learn. Surveyed students emphasized the growing role of professional mobility among specialists with a social-humanitarian education, with them having to be able to attain qualification in neighboring professional fields if the situation calls for it. This affects the means of respondents’ professional adaptation, within which guidelines are shaped for continuous education, which is in turn linked to retraining, and independently attaining new competencies, reinforcing the digital component of one’s professional knowledge and skills.
social and liberal professions, digital technology, vocational adaptation, students
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