Agència per a la Qualitat del Sistema Universitari de Catalunya

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The results of the second survey on the graduate labour market outcomes in Catalonia are as follows:

Document PDF PDF Graduate placement on labour market (2001). Total by area [ca]

Document PDF PDF Graduate placement on labour market (2001). Total by sub-area [ca]

Enllaç extern Results by degree programme and university [ca]

The main conclusions of the second survey on the graduate labour market outcomes in Catalonia are as follows:

Situation regarding employment

90.2% of all graduates were working at the time of the survey. The unemployment rate was 4.8% whereas the idly unemployed rate (graduates not actively looking for work) was 5%. 63% of those that were idly unemployed stated that they were not looking for a job because they were taking further studies, 10% because of maternity/home reasons, and the remaining 27% for other reasons. There are important differences in these overall results according to the type of studies, with the main differences as follows:Health Sciences is the subject area with the highest employment rate (94%), with the Experimental Sciences having the lowest (84%).

  • The subject area with the highest employment rate was the Health Sciences (94%), and Experimental Sciences had the lowest (84%).
    Experimental Sciences was the subject area with the highest idly unemployed rate (10.2%, 74% of which were taking doctorate studies, the highest percentage of all the subject areas), whereas the Health Sciences and Engineering/Architecture had the lowest (3%).
  • The number of idly unemployed was therefore lower in two subject areas that are clearly professionally orientated (Engineering/Architecture and Health Sciences), whereas it was higher in what is a more academic field. .

It is worth noting that the fact of combining studies and work is becoming increasingly predominant, with 58.8% of those interviewed stating they were in this situation. The time taken to find the first job was more than three months for 21.5%, and the main strategy used for getting their first job was personal contacts (35%).


One third (35%) of all of the graduates interviewed had some experience of mobility. Mobility for study and employment purposes accounted for approximately the same percentage (38% because of their studies, 40% for employment purposes, and 22% for other reasons). For employment purposes, the subject area with the highest mobility percentage was Engineering/Architecture (47%), followed by the Social Sciences (44%) and the Health Sciences (41%). The subject areas with highest levels of mobility due to study purposes were the Humanities and Experimental Sciences (48%).

Gender and graduate employment

90% of female graduates and 90,5% of male graduates were actively employed. Gender thus has less of an influence on the rates of employment than subject area. The rates of employment were also similar according to subject areas. There were however differences in working conditions, with female graduates experiencing higher levels of employment instability and lower wages. This situation was fairly homogeneous in terms of subject areas, although in the Humanities it was more equal for both genders.

Job specifications/qualifications required for a post and job tasks

More than 50% had firm contracts, and approximately 10% were self-employed, with no highly significant difference in either type regarding the previous survey and for the total sample. There were certain significant differences according to subject area, which were as follows:

  • Technical Subjects offered a more stable employment situation (62% with firm contracts), while Humanities had the lowest figure (40%).
  • The subject area with the highest number of provisional contracts was the Humanities (46%), while Technical Subjects had the lowest figure (23,4%).
  • The subject areas with the highest ratio of self-employed were the Health Sciences and Technical Subjects (12,5%), with Experimental Sciences having the lowest figure.
  • The results for the Health Sciences were largely due to the fact that 89% of all dentists are self-employed (compared to 5% of pharmacists). Likewise, the number of self-employed in Technical Subjects is due to the fact that, in architecture, 76% of all architects and 42% of all technical architects are self-employed, compared to only 2% of all chemical engineers and technical industrial engineers specialising in industrial chemistry.
  • The subject area with the highest number of grant holders was Experimental Sciences (12%) and the lowest was the Health Sciences (1,3%).

Education-job match

In terms of the employment obtained by graduates being related to their university studies, 75% of all those interviewed declared that a university degree was required for their current job, with 58% requiring a particular specialisation (88% in the Health Sciences compared to 41% in the Humanities). Of the remaining 25%, 8% had jobs that required a university degree although they were not actually asked for one when applying. Degree type is a key factor in placement: 64% needed a specific degree, while the figure for those who found it immaterial what type of degree was required was only 16%. 90% of those interviewed stated that they carried out qualified job functions, whereas only 10% said their functions were non-qualified. In the case of the Humanities, 38,5% of all the graduates interviewed were employed in jobs where no university degree was required. In conclusion, three quarters of those interviewed had jobs that were related to their university studies. The Health Sciences was the area where there was a greater match between university qualification and job, whereas Humanities was the area where there was the highest level of over-education.

Graduate satisfaction with current employment

Graduates claimed to be satisfied with their current job and in general gave this a score of above 5 (5.4, out of a scale from 1 (not at all) to 7 (highly), which is equivalent to 7.7 in a scale from 0 to 10). With regard to the different aspects of their job, the most satisfactory were content and stable job prospects whereas the lowest score was given to the usefulness of knowledge gained from university training. As expected, satisfaction with the usefulness of knowledge was higher where there is a greater match between specific qualifications (4.8 in the Health Sciences) and lowest where there was more of a mismatch (3.9 in the Humanities).

Annual income

Three years after graduation, 47,5% of graduates interviewed were earning between 9.000 and 18.000 euros per year, with 43% earning more than 18.000 euros per year. According to subject area, the percentage for those earning more than 18,000 euros varied from 71% in Technical Subjects to 19% in the Humanities (with the Health Sciences 44%, Experimental Sciences 36% and the Social Sciences 35%).

PDF PDF Annual income

Student satisfaction with their studies

71,3% of the graduates interviewed stated that they would repeat the same degree if they had to choose a university degree again. The differences between subject areas varied from 76% in the Health Sciences to 68% in the Humanities. Dentists are those that would repeat the same degree the most (91%), followed closely behind by Teachers in Nursery Education (88%), diploma holders in Librarianship and Documentation (87%) and Technical Architects (86%). More than 80% of 27 out of a total of 112 subjects would repeat the same degree again. There were only 10 subjects where less than 50% would repeat. 86% of all the graduates interviewed would repeat university.

PDF PDF Repeating degrees

Assessment of studies and their usefulness on the job

Graduates valued the theoretical training they received at university with a score of almost 5, out of a scale from 1 to 7, whereas they gave a value of around 4 for the practical training received (3.8). In terms of subject area, the values for theoretical training oscillate between 5.2 in Experimental Sciences and 4.86 in the Social Sciences and, for practical training, from 4.38 in the Health Sciences to 3.36 in the Humanities. Graduates assessed the usefulness of both theoretical and practical knowledge in their professional development in a very similar way (around 4). Differences between subject areas coincided with the same pattern as in the previous point. 

Further studies

Three quarters of the graduates had some experience of training following graduation. Of these, 30% continued with university education (either an undergraduate degree, 21%, or a doctorate, 9%), with 32% taking post-graduate or Master's courses. 38% took courses that were specialised or in other types of training.


Survey details

Documento PDF PDF 2nd Survey

Year: 2005

Faculties and universities: UB, UAB, UPC, UPF, UdG, UdL i URV.

Reference population and sample: 21.767 / 11.456 (The reference population completed their university studies in the 2000-01 academic year, except for graduates of Medicine (1997-98).