What skills those who hire Applied Plant Scientists would like their future staff members to have?

In the framework of the Erasmus+ ESCAPAdE project, gathering expertise and views from both professionals and academics, 163 European organizations (companies, research centres, universities, administrations, NGO) potentially hiring new employees trained in applied plant sciences were consulted through an online survey on their knowledge of academic curricula and preferred skills for their employees.

The purpose of this survey, consisting of 18 questions, was to gather information about key aspects contributing to the improvement of the curricula offered in plant sciences for graduate and postgraduate students, and facilitation of student’s mobility in the area of applied plant sciences.

The results show the interests and perspectives of organizations from both the private and public sector from seven European countries in relation with the plant sciences area. Knowledge of the university’s curricula in applied plant science is rather low, and the number of future employees requiring training in this field is limited. However, English is the most important second language for the organizations, opening employment perspectives at the European level. Although most of the companies work in plant breeding, the most required areas are plant protection and plant production. Additionally, the most important personal skills for the future employees are teamwork, motivation, ability for problem solving and responsibility.

The results of this survey, to be discussed in a webinar on May 11, 2021 and published soon, are very valuable not only for the educational organizations, but also for both the private and public sector related to the applied plant sciences area, which are always looking to count with highly qualified and skilled professionals.