Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
The Association for Market Communications of Serbia (UEPS) held a panel on “Education for Digital Technologies – What are universities preparing students for, and what companies expect from them”. In their presentations, the panelists highlighted the importance of mutual communication between the academic community, the economy and the state, in creating and synchronizing education curricula for the digital technologies that are becoming the foundation of the economy of the 21st century, with the common goal of creating top experts who will know how to successfully apply the latest technologies in practice, and achieving market competitiveness.
Panel members agreed that there are a number of systematic inconsistencies, such as the lack of harmonization of the official nomenclature of professions that does not recognize many new professions. There’s also a lack of teaching staff who would be able to educate future digital technology experts, and the lack of methodology for passing specific knowledge in this area. Vitality of personal initiatives in a positive, dynamic environment, where creativity and ability to solve problems is posed as a challenge, successfully overcomes systemic shortcomings but can certainly not be a long-term solution.
Prof. PhD. Slavica Cicvarić Kostić, Faculty of Organizational Sciences, University of Belgrade, emphasized that this faculty, regardless of the obligatory accreditation given every five years, besides the formal programs also has a number of informal programs through which it handles different topics and conducts the training so that its students be better prepared for the current market demands. Contracts that this faculty has with over 700 companies enables the acquisition of practical skills as well as work for graduates.
“New generations are less gravitating to corporations, wanting something faster, more dynamic, but practice is certainly useful as the first introduction to the market,” said Cicvarić Kostić.
Prof. PhD. Nataša Krstić, Faculty of Media and Communication, University Singidunum, pointed out that the responsible ministry fails to properly recognize the rapid changes and the need for a more flexible adaptation of curricula. “The curricula should follow not only the needs of the market, but the needs of the new generations. The new generations of college students come to college with their business, they read less, and cannot be reached in the traditional way that implies a lecturer who lectures, and refers them to some book. They come to college to learn skills to master the practical knowledge they need to do the work they are dealing with. At the Department of Digital Marketing I found a formula to create a mix of theory and practical knowledge for them, plus some internationally recognized diplomas. We introduced Google and Facebook certification,” she said. Young people leaving the college have a freelance mindset and this is a fact to be taken into account, says Krstić, pointing out that the model of unpaid practice isn’t interesting to her students.
Lea Stankovic, Communis’s Executive Director, recalled her experience as a lecturer, or the dilemma of what and how to teach in a time of rapid change in knowledge. “You cannot expect ‘finished products’ from the faculties,” she said, pointing to the importance of changing the perception of learning as a continuous lifelong process. Young people still see the university as the final destination. From the aspect of the agency, there is an increasing competition, and the challenge imposed on employers is to face the spirit of new generations, increased fluctuation, and to properly introduce them to the advantages of corporate work, in which, in her opinion, one can mature professionally faster and better.
Nikola Parun, PR, Digital & Media Manager, Ovation BBDO, pointed out that digital is something that affects the entire society, and majority of faculties and high schools, with few exceptions, are unable to meet the market needs ie the knowledge and skills that young people need. Parun believes that Serbia lags at least two years behind developed countries. He also pointed to the problem of negative perceptions of young people towards the market, referring to a recent survey by which 70 percent of private faculty students have a negative emotion towards the market. Talking about their agency’s experience, they don’t announce classic formal competitions or vacancies, but rather include in business processes those who gravitate to the agency, and shape positions accordingly. “We look at them as as a whole personality profile, it’s important for us who they are, how they think, what their lifestyle is like. We have people from different faculties – from Law, Economics, Philosophy, Philology …” says Parun.
Srđan Vasić, founder and director of Mosquito Video & Animation, commented on the advantages and disadvantages of freelance and corporate work, pointing out that his experience speaks in favor of faster progress in a system. In his view, a new worker is never ready to just “jump into the job” immediately, and that it takes between three to six months of training and investment in a new team member.
Danica Markovic, Account Manager, Homepage agency, said that in selecting new people they focus more on their creativity, way of thinking, and overall personality profile than on formal education, and that 80 percent of those who are hired remain with the agency.
Ivan Rečević, MarTech Consultant, Gaia Consulting, underlined dedication to the job as a specific differentiator in the selection. Agencies have a set of services they offer and cannot change quite fast, and on the other hand, digital technologies are constantly changing. “That is why we teach young people to change themselves, to ask questions, not to be stiff, and to export themselves.”
Students of the Faculty of Organizational Sciences and the Faculty of Media and Communications present at the panel actively participated in the discussion. During the panel that lasted two and a half hours, the participants agreed that this is a topic that contains a set of specific issues, whose solution requires collaboration and that gatherings such as this one are necessary and useful in this sense.