Economics Minister Naftali Bennett has a suggestion for Israeli college students trying to decide on a career: Don't bother with law school; instead, study technology, because that's where the jobs are.
On Sunday, Bennett and Finance Minister Yair Lapid held a press conference outlining a long-term outline that provides immediate as well as long-term solutions to strengthen the position of the technological colleges. New funding will be made available for the colleges, with some 70% more money to be made available over the next six years. A total of NIS 110 million will be made available to the schools, after they threatened to strike due to what they said were insufficient budgets.
Bennett and Lapid presented the plan together with National Student Union Chairman Uri Reshtik and representatives from the technical colleges, headed by Dr. Yocheved Pinhasi-Adiv of the Ariel Design and Technology Center.
The colleges will be funded according to formulas applying to Israel's eight universities, qualifying them for higher levels of funding than the 65 undergraduate colleges in the country. In addition, tuition at these institutions will be the same as at universities, as opposed to the colleges, where tuition fees are largely unregulated.
Speaking at the event, Lapid said that the country needed more technology workers, and that the new benefits would hopefully encourage many more individuals to enroll in high-tech programs. Lapid said that he especially was interested in enrolling more members of the hareidi Jewish and Israeli Arab communities in these programs, in order to enable them to earn more money and raise the economic levels of their communities.
“Today we are making history with this new plan for technology education,” Bennett said. “We have a new revolutionary program for the technology colleges, and our purpose is to enroll as many new students in technology disciplines as possible. I would suggest that young people enroll in technology programs, and avoid studying law.”
A recent study showed that Israel has the highest per capita number of attorneys in the world, with 585 lawyers per 100,000 residents – more than any other country.