University of Oulu, 2019

Graduates want better negotiation skills and stress tolerance – this autumn’s career monitoring survey begins

Based on career monitoring, graduates with a Master’s degree are mainly satisfied with their degrees and feel that getting the education was worth the effort.

A recently published national career monitoring survey revealed that those who graduated in 2013 with a Master’s degree have integrated into working life smoothly. Their career paths varied a lot, but over 70 percent of the respondents have been working since their graduation without significant career interruptions. The respondents worked in diverse roles that corresponded with their university-level education.

At the time of the survey, 94 percent of the respondents were employed and 2 percent were unemployed. Graduates in fine arts (6% of the respondents), the humanities (4%) and natural sciences (3%) most frequently described their career path as dominated by unemployment.

The median salary of Master graduates in 2013 is €3,600. The median salary for women is €3,400 and €4,100 for men. The median salary of the respondents varied in different fields of education; graduates in medicine had the biggest median salary by far, €5,500. On the other hand, graduates in the fields of fine arts, education and humanities had the lowest median salary. However, the median salary exceeds the median total income for persons in employment or civil service relationships in Finland in all fields.

Work experience and project management skills are valued

Factors that the respondents considered the most important in terms of gaining employment were the ability to communicate about one’s own skills, other work experience and the combination of subjects in one’s degree. When comparing the skills needed in working life and the skills developed at university, areas which were found most lacking were negotiation skills and stress tolerance as well as organisational and coordination skills.

Furthermore, the respondents were asked what kind of skills or knowledge they would encourage current students to acquire with regard to future working life. The respondents could formulate their answers freely. The following themes, for example, recurred in various forms in the responses:

  • project management, managerial skills
  • basics of business and financial administration
  • networking, cooperative skills, social skills
  • language skills, internationality, multiculturalism
  • programming competence, coding, IT skills
  • entrepreneurial skills
  • acquiring new knowledge, analytical and critical thinking.

The career monitoring survey responses were collected in autumn 2018, and the national response rate was 39.1%. The survey included 14 Finnish universities.

The results of the career monitoring survey were reported in conjunction with the Bachelor graduate feedback collected in 2017 and 2018. The open responses to the Bachelor graduate feedback survey revealed that the decline in university resources was reflected in the daily life of students. According to the report, “students who needed the most support in their studies were likely hit the hardest”.

The results of the universities’ career monitoring surveys are publicly accessible in the Vipunen data service. You can also view the career monitoring results in the Töissä.fi e-service that visualises data.

Do you belong to the target group? Respond to the career monitoring survey

Career monitoring in autumn 2019 has begun. This time, the target group comprises those who graduated with a Master’s degree or BA in Early Childhood Education in 2014 and with a doctoral degree in 2016. Those in the target group are contacted personally.

“Career monitoring surveys provide information for developing university education and decision-making. The results of the Master graduate survey also affect the funding our own university will receive. Responding to the survey is an invaluable way to support current and future students,” says Helka-Liisa Hentilä, Vice Rector for Education at the University of Oulu.

The graduates are approached in October and November either through a text message or letter. Those who submitted their contact information to their university’s alumni register may also be contacted by e-mail. You can respond to the survey online through a personal link or by using a paper form.

Career monitoring aims to collect information about the graduates’ early career years following graduation. The graduates are asked to evaluate their satisfaction with their degree and career so far and to describe the factors affecting their employment. 

The results of the current survey will be published in 2020.

Masters who graduated from the University of Oulu in 2013:

  • 69% think that the education provided them with sufficient skills for working life.
  • 86% would recommend their education to others.
  • 85% were satisfied with their degree completed in 2013 with regard to their career.
  • 70% have been working since graduation without interruptions.

Unifi: Feedback survey results have been published (in Finnish; includes a link to the report)

Aarresaari.net: Masters and doctors graduates, please respond to the career monitoring survey in October-November

Last updated: 1.10.2019