HSE Master’s Students on the Professions of the Future
Students in the Transmedia Production in Digital Industries Master’s programme have done a project on the professions of the future. Covering trends and key professions, the project helps students assess potential academic trajectories. The main part of the project is a non-fiction book ‘What’s Next? Professions of the Future’, which is based on the ‘Androids and Electric Sheep’ podcast by Forbes and X5 Group. The book has been published on the Ridero platform.
The project team includes seven students who view Daria Nazarova as their mastermind.
‘This summer, I worked as an editor on a podcast by Forbes and X5 Group, ‘Androids and Electric Sheep’, about the professions of the future,’ she said. ‘When our supervisors at HSE University said that we would publish a book during the first semester, the idea came naturally: we should transform the podcast into a book! The audio format is gaining momentum, and podcasts are really popular, but a book is something perceptible, a kind of a cast of reality: you can get back to the pages that made you think, to turn them once again.’
The students decided to create a guidebook on professions of the future for everyone who is looking for their professional and personal path in life, trying to answer the question ‘Who am I going to be when I grow up?’
Daria calls herself a creative producer and editor-in-chief: she has been in charge of narratives and texts, worked on the project vision, and interacted with peers from Forbes and X5.
‘Our project is relevant for any age, even if you were a prospective student long ago,’ she added. ‘It is never too late to look for your calling and dramatically change your life trajectory, so our book can serve as a guide in this complicated changing world.’
Artem Shlyakov, a team member who is responsible for the book promotion, agreed with her. ‘The students who get to know our project will probably decide to change their study track or find their life’s professional calling. Choosing a relevant profession is one of the most important issues facing people today.’ He said that the team aims to talk about the key trends on the future job market and to help students choose a relevant profession. The project’s target audience is high school and university students, but it is also important for older generations. ‘Changing one’s profession several times in life is normal today, and it’s important to learn more about potential prospects,’ said Maria Bolgova, one of the project editors.
After graduating from university, Daria was expecting to feel triumphant as an important life stage was completed. ‘For some reason, I didn’t feel any triumph, but on the contrary, I felt lost. I had a degree with honours – but what was I supposed to do next?’ She admitted she still doesn’t know the precise answer: ‘I still haven’t sorted out how to live this “grown-up life”, actually. But I realized that it is important to keep looking for your place under the sun at any age. It is not scary to become disappointed in a profession: it is scary if nothing changes. It is not scary to make mistakes when you take an undiscovered path: it is scary to take a well-worn path when you know for sure that it leads somewhere you don’t need to go. This book is my reminder to myself that the future is not written by anyone and that we should create it ourselves!’
Lyubov Buldina, who is also promoting the project, didn’t know a lot about the professions of the future. ‘I was curious to learn what would happen to the job market in ten or maybe even 50 years. Everything is developing very fast. We are mastering a profession of the future today—transmedia production—and that’s why this topic seemed even more relevant to me.’
She believes that the knowledge on transmedia storytelling and production that they acquired during the HSE master’s programme has helped the team promote the project: ‘We were learning not only to create a project, but to make it a transmedia one, which means on different media platforms. On each platform, the reader would find something special and complement their knowledge. It was also important to think through what the user’s path would be to keep them from getting lost in the variety of platforms and extensions.’
‘Our master’s programme is developed in a way that immerses us in all stages of work on the project, from idea development to legal issues. The teachers were always ready to give advice and show compassion regarding our problems and discoveries, which is sometimes even more important than the study process itself,’ Maria said.
‘We could write to our teachers at midnight in panic: “Ridero isn’t working again!” and get a response and help. This is invaluable,’ Daria added.
While working on the project, she realized that she has a lot to learn and needs to develop her organizational skills. She said she was learning everything on the go: ‘I was learning to lay out books on Ridero, be responsible for the project’s legal support, edit texts at any time and in any condition, and not being afraid of coming up with ideas and expressing my opinion to others. This was a continuous process that was taking place during three incredibly complicated but productive months.’
As part of the project, the students conducted interviews with Alexander Chulok, Director of the HSE ISSEK Centre for Science and Technology Foresight, and HSE professor Vladimir Gimpelson. The interviews are available on Mmbook, HSE University’s multimedia book platform.
‘We created a book that is based on a podcast but includes our original texts with our conclusions on what we had heard and various checklists,’ Maria explained. ‘We also created a multimedia book on an HSE platform and several social media accounts (Instagram, TikTok and Telegram). Each extension does not duplicate the information but rather supplements it and creates a kind of universe of knowledge about the professions of the future. I particularly love our Telegram channel. It contains lots of useful news, life hacks and stories about how we were creating the book.’
The project taught Maria an important skill for future professions—adaptivity. ‘Any situation has a solution, and it should be found quickly. We need to adjust to what is happening, to the people around us, and to the challenges that sometimes don’t align with our plans.’
‘First of all, such projects teach us to work as part of a team: to assign roles, pressure others to hurry up at times, pressure ourselves to hurry sometimes, help each other and find solutions together,’ Artem added. ‘This has been an amazing experience!’.
Lyubov finds the combination of theoretical knowledge and practice in master’s studies especially valuable. ‘Only when you do something practically will you get a real-life study—from success to first mistakes. It wasn’t easy, but I can confidently say that these projects are the ones we remember the most. This is a real case study in our portfolios and a small reason to be proud. I believe everyone dreams of publishing a book, and we have already done it. Dreams do come true, especially on the eve of the New Year!’
It’s true that publishing a book was a long-time dream for many project participants. Maria even thought about it secretly on the 2021 New Year’s Eve. ‘I was quite abstract about this desire, since I didn’t have any completed texts, and I also didn’t have my master’s programme enrolment notification in my email. It is so great that everything has come true!’
‘Since my first degree is in journalism, I write reports and long texts. I have always dreamt of publishing a book,’ said Daria. ‘But I never thought it would happen so soon and that I would have my name (and all our names!) on the cover of my first book! This is a huge boost in my professional development, which has shown that everything is much more real than it seemed to me. Any dream must come true if you put in enough effort and allow yourself to make it come true!’
Vladimir E. Gimpelson
Director of the Centre for Labour Market Studies
Director of the Centre for Science and Technology Foresight
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