Agčncia per a la Qualitat del Sistema Universitari de Catalunya

Access the content (Alt + 1)

Access to the menu section (Alt + 2)

11.7.2017

Bologna works! Conclusions of the sixth survey of the employment outcomes of graduates from universities in Catalonia

One of the main conclusions of the sixth survey of the employment outcomes of graduates of Bachelor, Master's and doctoral programmes at Catalan universities is that the Bologna process, or the adaptation and alignment of programmes of study with the EHEA overarching framework for qualifications, produces good results.

AQU Catalunya has just presented the results of the sixth survey of the employment outcomes of graduates of universities in Catalonia. The survey, which is promoted by the public universities in Catalonia through their social councils, together with 11 private universities and 31 affiliated and partner schools and institutes, is one of the most representative and important in Europe. In the 2017 survey, 27,715 people were interviewed during the first three months of the year (17,458 graduates of undergraduate Bachelor programmes, 8,747 Master's graduates and 1,510 graduates of doctoral programmes), which accounted for 48.1% of the reference population (students of Bachelor-level degrees who graduated in 2013, except for graduates of Medicine, who graduated in 2010, and Master's graduates and doctoral degree holders who completed their programmes in 2012 and 2013).

he main conclusions of this latest survey are as follows:

Employment has recovered on all levels of education and in all subject areas

  • The employment rate has recovered on all levels of education (89.3% of first degree graduates, 90.5% of Master's graduates and 93.4% of doctoral degree holders) and is around the same level as prior to the economic crisis.
  • On all levels of education (first degree graduates, Master's graduates and doctoral degree holders) the employment rate for graduates of universities in Catalonia is higher than that of the Labour Force Survey (EPA) in the first quarter of 2017 for the population aged 25-44 (82.6%, 84.2% and 90.5%, respectively).
  • The Catalan university system is a driver of differential employability, i.e. the higher the educational level of graduates, the better their economic activity rate, employment rate and salary.

...whereas conditions of employment have remained at the same level (apart from Engineering Sciences)

  • Permanent/indefinite contracts were at the same level as before (48.9% of the total number of contracts), the majority being graduates in Engineering Sciences and Social Sciences. There was a 2% increase in the number of temporary contracts (36.7%).
  • There was a 2.2% increase in full-time recruitment (76.7%). Full-time employment was highest among Engineering graduates (9 out of 10), whereas in Humanities and Health Sciences this was the case in only 6 out of 10 graduates.
  • There was an increase in those employed with an annual salary of over 24,000 euros (40.9%). The main increase was in Engineering Sciences, where 64% of graduates were earning over 24,000 euros a year. In other subject areas it was just over 37%, and for Humanities it was only 18%.
  • Eight out of 10 graduates had graduate level job specifications, and in the case of doctoral degree holders the figure was 9 out of 10.

The Bologna process (the adaptation and alignment of programmes of study with the EHEA overarching framework for qualifications) produces good results

  • Bologna has had a positive effect on the quality of education, a phenomenon that began to become apparent in previous surveys.
  • More specifically, there is a positive trend as regards the assessment of graduate skills and competences, in particular oral expression, IT and languages. Languages continue to be a pending issue however, given that this is where there is the biggest difference between the level of study and the level of skill required in the workplace.

Employment abroad is a minority choice

  • 3.6% of graduates were working abroad, an increase of 1% over the figure for 2011. In the case of doctoral degree holders, 7.2% were working abroad, or half the figure for 2014 (14.3%).

Other aspects worthy of note following the survey are that there has been an overall increase in the period of study as a result of postgraduate, Master's and doctoral programmes (53.6% of graduates went on to further studies), and in 36% of the tests and comparisons made there were differences in graduate employment outcomes according to gender (60% of male graduates had a better indicator for employment outcomes than for females, especially as regards salary).

With regard to graduates of online courses, the graduate profile is different to that of bricks-and-mortar universities (an average age of 40s, around half had a prior university education and 96.4% were in employment). Nevertheless, 8 out of 10 would take the same degree again, and courses were also highly assessed.

Lastly, there was an increase in the number of doctoral degree holders working in private industry and enterprise (46%) and of those with doctorate-level job specifications (36.6%).

PDF Presentation of the results and findings of the sixth survey of the employment outcomes of graduates from universities in Catalonia, paper by Martí Casadesús, Director, AQU Catalunya

The reports:

PDF The employment outcomes of graduates from universities in Catalonia

PDF The employment outcomes of doctoral degree holders from universities in Catalonia

The website with the results and findings:

link estudis.aqu.cat/dades: results and findings of the comparative study according to institutions offering the programme