Students’ Perceptions of Quality in Higher Education and Career Choices: A Case Study of the Russian Industrial Region
The transition to a new technological structure and mass digitalization of society involves revision of the existing forms and methods of educating students for the needs of the Industry 4.0. The problem arises from higher education non-compliance with the expectations of society, the modern requirements of the economy and the labor market. For regional higher education institutions, the situation is exacerbated by the high level of educational and labor migration of young people. This leads to negative trends in demographic indicators as well as to deficits in the regional labor market and to decrease in regional socioeconomic potential. The study is based on the data from the sociological research conducted by the authors, as well as on the secondary data analysis. At the stage of data analysis in the SPSS 25 functional environment primary data were processed and the results were presented using descriptive statistics methods; an in-depth analysis of empirical information was carried out using multidimensional methods of analytical statistics, including the Pearson's χ2 significance test and the procedures of factoranalysis (p < 0.001); non-formalized analysis of the qualitative research materials add statistical data were carried out. The study revealed the opinions of university level students on the quality of the education they receive, on the problems of gaining professional skills and competencies in the education process, the possibility of implementing individual educational trajectories, migratory moods and future plans after graduation. A number of measures are proposed to modernize the regional system of higher education, including the use of opportunities of targeted training, the organization of interaction with business enterprises in the region, the network interaction of higher education institutions, the potential of WorldSkills contests, as well as the implementation of new approaches in the organization of education, student practicums and internships.