Kaunas IN
2021 06 30
Engineers are making their way to the top of employers’ most coveted professionals

Companies in Lithuania are in dire need not only of IT specialists – the demand for engineers is also growing rapidly. According to the data of the National Education Agency for 2020, only every tenth (10.8%) young person entering university chooses engineering studies. In addition to educational institutions or the ones dealing with the improvement of the business environment, the business itself is also looking for ways to solve this issue. And Kaunas plays a particularly important role in the challenge of developing engineering talents.

According to Manvydas Almonaitis, an analyst at the business department of Kaunas IN, the ongoing modernization of the industry increases the need for skilled workers, and companies producing high value-added electronic products can afford to pay higher salaries than the Lithuanian average. “The shortage of engineers and electronics specialists is felt elsewhere, not only in Lithuania. Due to this reason, international companies expand there, where they find qualified specialists. The fierce competition between employers for the best employees also creates the conditions for their salaries to increase. It is likely that the electronics sector in Kaunas will expand until companies can no longer find new specialists at a competitive price.”

And what do the trends of specialists prepared for the market show? Last year, 2,328 students were admitted to undergraduate engineering studies, meanwhile business has been sending a signal for several years now that this number of workers entering the labor market does not meet the needs set out in the growth and development plans. Therefore, in this situation, Kaunas, as the center of Lithuanian engineering, has an important role to play. Over the years, the strongest academic, research and specialist training base in this field has formed here. This is evidenced by statistics. For example, higher percentage of freshmen choosing engineering studies in Kaunas or a growing number of students, who choose a bachelor of electronic engineering.

The attractiveness of studying in Kaunas is enhanced not only by the highly merited higher education institutions with strong study programs. “Students’ own initiatives are noticeable. The ones who show exceptional enthusiasm for their fields and technological innovations look for the groups of like-minded people and led by more experienced colleagues, create and construct by themselves. KTU-based sports drone construction and operation team is an illustrative but certainly not the only example. Such activities not only deepen practical knowledge of technology or bring together like-minded students during their free time, but often become a good starting point in their careers. Another point that increases the appeal of Kaunas is the quality of life/price ratio. Compared to another student city in Lithuania – Vilnius – the rent prices in Kaunas are about 25% lower and purchasing power parity about 5% higher,” Tadas Stankevičius, the head of Kaunas IN, notes.

Business support: from contributions to study programs to scholarships

A significant part of Lithuanian engineering companies is also concentrated in Kaunas. They are actively involved in the education process of future specialists and offer internships and work positions during or after their studies. One of them is the Teltonika group, which creates exceptional Internet of Things solutions for clients and partners from all over the world. “For many years, the Teltonika group of companies has been following a clear vision: to create the best conditions for creative, knowledge-seeking talents to learn and create. Therefore, the company actively works to ensure the future generations have the best quality studies, opportunities for growth, improve and acquire as much useful knowledge as possible,” Julius Švagždys, Head of Corporate marketing at the company, says.

In 2021, Teltonika signed very important cooperation agreements with the best Lithuanian universities and colleges, according to which the company undertook to help higher education institutions improve the quality of studies, accept students for internships, conduct research and develop joint projects.

Teltonika scholarship program The Future Belongs to Me! has become an important initiative of this cooperation. This year, the company will award 100 annual scholarships of 3,000 euro (300 euro per month) to the most talented and motivated freshmen in engineering and information technology.

“We want the scholarship to help the newly enrolled students to establish themselves in their studies, forget about household worries and focus on their education,” J. Švagždys says.

Vilnius University, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, Kaunas University of Technology, Vilnius College, Kaunas College, Kaunas Technical College and Utena College participate in the Teltonika scholarship program. Excellent news for future graduates – the program will continue for five years, during which, 1.5 million euro will be allocated for the scholarships.

A creator’s work that draws you in

“I like to describe an engineering specialist in the following sentence, “Engineer – someone who does precision guesswork based on unreliable data provided by those of questionable knowledge,” Lukas Žarovas, the Head of electronic and mechanical engineers, says with a smile.

The specialist who leads the team of engineers says he never had a preconceived notion and goal to do this specific job and turned to engineering after having tried various other studies. However, Lukas always had this one thing and a certain vocation. He believed that you could create anything by yourself.

“The way I see it, anyone can become an engineer, and in a way, each of us are one every day when we solve problems creatively. In order to become a professional, you need to develop necessary qualities: perseverance and patience. These qualities will always be needed and for me they have become a norm and part of everyday life. Engineering, just like any other specialty, will always be accompanied by both joy and frustration. But I can assure you that the feeling that overcomes you after you – as an engineer – create solutions or things that solve real problems and make everyday life easier for real people, is indescribably wonderful! That is why it is worth designing, researching and testing for several months,” L. Žarovas says.

His advice to future engineers is to not be afraid to take the first step, if necessary – even several times. Start with small projects and move towards your dreams. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and don’t be afraid to ask. It is normal to lack knowledge when you start something new. And do not spare yourself because we are defined by our work rather than talk.

Source: "Teltonika".

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