The human resources company Randstad Research and the San Pablo CEU University Foundation have launched this week a report, Young university students and employability, that highlights the gap between supply and demand in certain professions. The analysis – based on enrollment and graduation data – divides the occupations on the rise by color, according to their employability forecasts. And in this balance, there are four professions clearly in the intensive care unit, in red (“very high level of imbalance expected over time”): industrial and electronic engineers, industrial and environmental chemistry engineers, aeronautical engineers, and renewable energy engineers. And there are six other professions in the study in an indefinite red and yellow tone (high level of imbalance and uncertain duration): biomedical engineers, doctors, materials engineers in the automotive sector, developers of softwarespecialists in artificial intelligence and specialists in the internet of things.
Enrollment and graduations in engineering have fallen dramatically in the last decade, although the careers cited in this report mostly have very high entrance marks. There are several reasons for dropping out: salaries are not as competitive as before, and many young people are not willing to dedicate many years to very complicated studies. They argue that it is not worth the effort. On the other hand, the dropout rate due to its difficulty is enormous. 39.9% of those who enrolled in engineering in 2026-2017 dropped out before the last academic year, although 17.6% of that total did not leave the university, but changed their career, according to data from the Ministry of Universities.
Engineers in industry and electronics (red). In the industrial sector, this profile is increasingly in demand and, nevertheless, “it is one of the fields of study with the greatest reduction in graduates in the last five years, 14.4%,” explains the study. According to data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE), employment is almost guaranteed five years after graduating and 79% earn more than 1,500 euros.
Engineers in industrial and environmental chemistry (red). The adaptation to clean technologies has caused job offers to grow exponentially, but in parallel, those who have graduated in the last five years have fallen by 14.6%. There is work for the 2,100 graduates a year, according to the INE, but only 64% earn more than 1,500 euros after five years.
Aeronautical engineers (red). There is a tone of “sustained growth” in demand that does not correspond to the number of graduates, who have decreased by 12% in five years, warns the report. 96% find a job according to what they have studied and 92% earn more than 1,500 euros in their first years, very competitive figures.
Renewable energy engineers (red). The energy transformation has triggered demand, but there are hardly any graduates because it is a newly created career. In the field of “energy engineering” (renewable is not required), the Ministry of Universities affirms that the number of students has gone from 3,100 to 3,500 in seven years, an insufficient number. The Government calculates that in a decade it will be necessary to create 468,000 jobs related to sustainability; For this reason, it recently announced that 20,000 new Vocational Training places will be created.
Specialists in the internet of things (red-yellow). More and more computer engineers are graduating because universities have found a vein in this career, but they have to attend to so many requirements of the economy that they cannot cope. For the connections to the devices experts are needed. The increasing availability of data has caused companies to also raffle off specialists in big databut the study does not send the UCI to this profession, it rates it in yellow.
Doctors (red-yellow). Medicine is the jewel in the crown, with enormous demand, but there are number clauses and the retirement of a significant part of the workforce is expected in the coming years. The Ministry of Health has allowed places to be increased in public universities for the next academic year, but it is a controversial issue, since private ones are graduating more and more doctors and, when they finish the MIR (Resident Internal Physician), those who start the race this September, the needs could already be covered. Most of the deans of Medicine, initially reluctant, decided by promising them more funding. The shortcomings are notable in some specialties, especially family doctors.
Materials engineers in the automotive sector (red-yellow). The technological transformation explains the rise in demand, but it does not translate into graduates, who, although they have not fallen, have grown “in quite small numbers,” laments the report.
Biomedical engineers (red-yellow). More and more professionals are needed to design and develop new technologies for medical instrumentation and imaging, but also to work in regenerative medicine through tissue engineering. In this case, the problem is that it is a new degree that is being implemented in many universities, including private ones, due to its high demand and there are still very few graduates. The 2021-2022 academic year there were 513, according to the study. However, according to the INE, almost one in four does not work five years after he studied.
Developers of software (Red Yellow). He software, the set of programs that allow a computer to do certain tasks, requires a professional to design, deploy and correct it. The lack of computer scientists hinders its growth, although the number of undergraduate students has gone from 40,500 to 46,900 in seven years. 77% earn more than 1,500 euros after five years.
Specialists in artificial intelligence and machine learning (red-yellow). People with strong backgrounds in applied mathematics and computer science are sought to undertake the digital transformation. The grade Artificial intelligence has been created very recently, in the 2020-2021 academic year, but it is being implemented at full speed in many universities, as it is guaranteed that the places will be filled. The following year it was offered in seven public universities and the expansion continues. Computer engineers and other technical branches occupy an important part of the positions.
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