What skills for future staff members in Applied Plant Sciences?
In the framework of the Erasmus+ ESCAPAdE project, for gathering expertise and views from both professionals and academics, 163 European organizations (companies, research centers, universities, administrations, NGO) potentially hiring new employees trained in applied plant sciences were consulted through an online survey. The questionnaire was dealing with their knowledge on academic curricula and expected 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 of this survey show the interests and perspectives of future employers from both private and public sectors from seven European countries in relation with the plant sciences area. Their knowledge of university’s curricula in Applied Plant Sciences 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 future employers, 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.
We hope that the results of this survey are 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 for highly qualified and skilled professionals. We also think that such a survey has made the organizations investigated more aware of academic curricula and student ‘s skills.