More young people apply for care professions: “Pandemic has put it in focus”


Just over 451,000 people applied to universities before the autumn. The increase of 13 percent means that there will be tougher competition for places. The educations that have increased the most in popularity are nursing, doctors and civil engineers, and most of all the nursing program has increased: 28 percent more this year.

Tuula Kuosmanen, head of department at UHR, can see several reasons for the great interest in studies:

– It may be that the pandemic has focused on the care professions. Nurses and doctors have appeared in the media and they have really touched many citizens.

Directly from high school

The fact that more people apply to university directly after upper secondary school may be related to the labor market situation, says Kuosmanen. Restaurants, shops and other workplaces where it is possible to get a job without a university degree have suffered during the pandemic.

– If you are going to take a sabbatical year, maybe you want a job, and if you want to travel, you must also have a job and save money, she says to SVT.


The care association’s vice chairman Ann Johansson says that they have known about the increase for a long time, even though the figures are now more accurate. But that more people are applying is not enough:

– It is not enough to increase the proportion of nurses at the undergraduate level – we must have more specialists trained.

During the pandemic, several specialist groups have come under the spotlight, including IVA nurses. But the shortage is great, and Johansson believes that they will be fewer. Getting young people in is the big challenge:

– As a young person, you must be able to see a career ahead of you in both salary and profession, otherwise we can not attract them.

– Basically, it is about working conditions. If you have an academic education, you must also get a little in your wallet, she says.

“Organizes the front figures”

The care association hopes that the focus on care during the corona crisis not only attracts young people to the profession, but also gives them better chances to negotiate better conditions.

– We organize the front occupations in the pandemic, and employers must think about how they will succeed in retaining staff, says Ann Johansson.

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