By Gayane Danielian
An Education Ministry official says more young people in Armenia choose secondary specialized training today responding to the growing demand on the labor market for jobs not requiring higher education.
With more than a hundred state-run and private vocational schools in the country, Samvel Pipoyan says all of them, except for medical colleges, do not require entrance examinations for applicants in the paid section. Based on their previous scores, applicants who failed their higher school entrance examinations can expect to qualify for state-paid places in vocational schools.
Pipoyan, who heads the Secondary Specialized Education Department at the Ministry of Education, says more than 35,000 young people attend vocational schools in Armenia today. He says there is a tendency that the number of career students will be increasing in the future.
“Medical specialties are in the greatest demand in the vocational education system, followed by economy-related specialties such as accountancy, management, banking and finances, and service-related trades,” Pipoyan says.
He says the ministry recently received two conflicting requests from the Ministry of Labor and Social Security and the Ministry of Health.
While the former was saying that “the republic had no need for more trained nurses, midwifes, dental lab specialists and pharmacists because of their obvious surplus,” the latter said they needed all of the mentioned specialists in great numbers.
Incidentally, Pipoyan says, these specialties are in the greatest demand among applicants and therefore they will continue to provide training opportunities in the mentioned careers.
At the same time, Pipoyan observes a trend where it becomes more difficult for higher school graduates than for people with vocational training backgrounds to find jobs on the Armenian labor market. He says it is no surprise that some university graduates start to seek training in careers related to specific occupations after graduating.
“I think many in Armenia today seek higher education just for the sake of it. But it doesn’t justify itself anymore. The market doesn’t seem to be able to accommodate for so many specialists with higher education. But a person who graduates should have a job,” Pipoyan explains.