What degree to get for a good life in the Czech Republic?
According to the statistical data, the number of international students who want to study in the Czech Republic has grown seven times over the last 15 years.
What kind of specialisation should you choose in order to find a job with a good work environment and even a better salary? What jobs are in high demand in the Czech Republic? What should you take into account when thinking of a future profession? Alexandra Baranova, the GoStudy blog writer, answers these and other questions.
Decide what you want to be
First of all you should honestly answer the following questions
- Why do you want to study in the Czech Republic?
- What kind of subjects are you good at and what kind of subjects do you need to become better at and why?
- What do you like to do in your leisure time? Do you think you could make a living out of your hobby?
- Where do you want to live and work after you graduate? Is it going to be the Czech Republic or some other place? Maybe you just want to return home with a degree from a European university?
- Is it possible that your choice is driven by the current trend or by the decision of your parents?
There are two case scenarios that people usually follow.
- The first one (perfect): even when you were a child you always knew that you want to be a dentist, lawyer etc. Then you go to university and you know that you have made the right choice, you study well, you graduate, you find a good satisfying job and live happily ever after.
- The second one (typical): ‘I have no idea what I want to do’, ‘I’ll try anything and decide on my profession later’, ‘I want to study in Europe’, ‘First I go to the university, then we’ll see’ is a typical way of thinking of an average applicant.
Dear friends, it’s not a big deal that you are not sure about your professional future. In this case you can just use common sense and be guided by financial prospects (and not only by your ambitions). Think about the living standards a certain degree may help you reach, as well as professions, which are in high demand in the Czech Republic.
Even with a Czech degree, you are still a foreigner.
On one side, it offers you some advantages (second language skills, getting to know foreign culture and mindset), which can be useful for your career in an international company.
On the other side, the same can make your life more difficult; employers must have an undisputable ground or better yet several grounds to hire a foreign national over a Czech one.
This means that you must:
- be a top-class professional,
- be head and shoulders above other candidates for the same job position,
- have great Czech language skills,
- be ready to be turned down
Most in-demand professions in the Czech Republic
One of the occupations that attracts a lot of youngsters is online marketing. At the same time Czech IT industry really need new talent, according to sociologists. Average salary in IT industry is around CZK 50,000 per month.
According to Forum24, the following professions are in high demand right now:
- healthcare professionals (nurse, hospital attendant, etc.)
- specialist in economics and management
Manual labourers in demand
The audience of our blog is interested in higher education, so, we are not going to look into manual labour jobs. Though, it’s worth mentioning that there is a severe shortage of highly skilled technical labourers in the Czech Republic.
According to Forum24, popular professions in this area include transport drivers, especially those able to drive full size trucks. You can earn on average CZK 30,000 per month.
Currently, hands-on professionals are most in-demand (and well paid) in the Czech Republic. A skilled worker can earn around CZK 70,000 and more per month.
The average salary level depends on a region; salaries in Prague and other big cities are traditionally higher than in reginal centres and small towns.
Jobs.cz is one of the most popular portals with lots of vacancies in different industries. It has a section of interesting jobs (Zajímavé profese in Czech), which helps with the job search. The list includes such jobs as Sales Representative, Assistant, Accountant, Project Manager, Finance Manager, Programmer.
The section of ‘Interesting industries’ (Zajímavé obory in Czech) on the same portal can help gain understanding of the market demands. The industries include finance, information technology, logistics, machinery, civil engineering, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, media, commerce.
For most international students engineering and scientific specialisations seem to be the most popular.
On one side, you don’t need to have a perfect knowledge of the Czech language, as opposed to arts and humanities (e.g., journalist, TV anchor, radio host). On the other side, proficiency in several languages can prove to be an important advantage over other applicants.
‘I tried to find employment in Prague time and again and was turned down; the competition was really fierce,’ says Maria, oncologist, a graduate from the First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague. – ‘After that I pulled the plug on the capital life and left for Znojmo, a small Moravian town near the Austrian border. The local hospital received me with the open arms; they had never had a doctor speaking Russian, Czech, English and German, but they often treated international patients. I am glad it has worked out for me’.
The services industry also offers employment for graduates. ‘I was admitted to Prague University of Economics and Business, and when I was in my second year, I decided to start working as a hotel Front Desk Manager’, recalls Natalia. ‘I liked the job and could practice languages; apart from Russian, I can speak English, Czech, and Chinese. The company recognized my work! After graduation I was offered Senior Manager position, which I accepted. I am very happy; my pay doubled in six months’.
I am not sure whether students of Czech universities are aware of the statistics, but according to Vysokéškoly.cz, the number of international students enrolled in engineering degrees (civil engineering, electrical engineering, computer sciences) has significantly grown over the last years. Medical degrees are also popular.
There is also an interesting trend for international students to choose higher education providers in smaller towns (Ostrava, Liberec, Olomouc). ‘Over the recent years, this trend has been on the rise. The total number of international students grew by 27%,’ said Ivana Adamiková, head of the Centre for International Cooperation.