Few students in French-speaking secondary education are willing to pursue a career in fields which are in short supply, Le Soir reports, citing a report from Walloon employment agency Le Forem.
Le Forem recently conducted a survey involving over 2,000 high school students in Wallonia. The aim was to understand Walloon students' career aspirations and their motivations.
The majority of these students, aged between 16 and 19, come from the Hainaut, Liège and Namur provinces. Their educational backgrounds vary, with a significant number in general education and others in transitional and vocational training.
The survey revealed that professions such as police officer, teacher, doctor, military personnel and researcher are among the top picks for students. Notably, seven of the top 20 preferred professions are currently facing shortages in the job market. This includes roles such as teachers, doctors and IT developers.
Gender plays a noticeable role in career preferences. While girls lean towards caregiving roles, boys show a stronger inclination towards STEAM professions (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics). However, both genders equally choose roles such as police officers and teachers.
Salary expectations and job stability are paramount for these students. Nearly 20% of the students surveyed prioritised a high salary, while 13.4% valued job stability. Other factors, such as the working environment and career development also played a significant role.
Forem's study also highlighted a disparity between students' career aspirations and the current state of the job market. For instance, sectors such as agriculture, arts and sports, which are attractive to students, currently offer few jobs. On the other hand, areas such as commerce, construction, and hospitality, which are less favoured by students, present numerous opportunities.
The notion that there are some professions which are in short supply was understood by 83% of the respondents. However, only 34% admit that it influenced their educational choices.