What university degree options will allow Central Asian students to be job ready?

This article is part of the series “Choosing a University” which explores the questions and opportunities students encounter when applying to university. This series is produced by the University of Central Asia, now accepting applications for its inaugural cohort of students in September 2016. Due to an overwhelming level of interest from students, UCA has extended its application deadline to 15 April 2016.
Central Asia is a diverse region with a range of opportunities for economic development, and its unique mountain communities are no exception. A degree from a world class institution, in an area of study linked to industry needs, is essential to capitalising on these opportunities.
Students have to be future oriented when choosing degree options. The region’s economy is developing in variety of directions. Traditional sectors such a Mining, Oil and Gas, Hydropower, Tourism, and Agriculture are growing.  Less developed but promising areas of future opportunity include Communications and Media, Entrepreneurial Economics, Environmental Services, Telecommunications and Information Technology. Students have to consider these trends and think about what will make them marketable in 4 to 5 years.  
Higher education is the key to maximising the economic potential of the Central Asian economy. The University of Central Asia’s undergraduate programme is designed to create qualified job applicants and prospective entrepreneurs who can create jobs in the region’s growth sectors. 
UCA’s extensive labour market research found that students in Central Asia often select degree options that make it difficult for them to find jobs after graduation.  Universities in the region offer majors that do not match what is demanded by the labour market, creating an abundance of graduates in certain fields and a lack of graduates holding degrees in the fields that companies value. Without promising career prospects, many graduates leave Central Asia to pursue employment elsewhere, while others accept employment in a field outside of their area of study. 
The University’s majors and minors were designed with the region’s specific human resource needs in mind. Students have the choice of majors in Earth and Environmental Science (BSc), Computer Science (BSc), Engineering Sciences (BSc), Communications and Media (BA), Economics (BA) and Business and Management (BA). UCA students can also choose to major in any of the preceding subjects, or in Development Studies, Central Asian Studies and Globalisation Studies. 
UCA’s programme is rooted in practical experience, with curriculum featuring case-based learning, lab based experiments, team projects, and extensive summer internship opportunities, totalling almost one full year of work experience. A focus on science and technology across all of UCA’s campuses will build the technical expertise needed for future graduates to work in a range of sectors in Central Asia.
UCA’s academic curriculum was developed to emphasize the areas of opportunity in mountain communities and encourages the integration of knowledge across multiple disciplines. It is the first university to offer integrative majors and minors that will qualify graduates for a range of employment prospects and equip them with the skills and experience needed to succeed. 
For more information on UCA’s academic programmes and generous scholarship opportunities and how they can prepare you for the career you envision, email us at admissions@ucentralasia.org, or call: +996 770 822 901 (Kyrgyz Republic) +992 93 999 99 64 (Tajikistan)  +7 777 822 3948 (Kazakhstan).
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