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2008 - Humanities

Recent studies on graduate labour market outcomes carried out by AQU Catalunya have shown that the job situation of graduates in the Humanities, three years after obtaining their degrees, is clearly unfavourable in comparison to that of other disciplines. The aim of this study was to establish whether, within six years after completing their degrees, graduates in the Humanities manage to be as successful as degree holders from other disciplines, or if they need more time to find a suitable job.

For the purposes of the study, a survey was carried out in 2008 of Humanities graduates who completed their studies in 2001 and whose job duties in 2005 were not on a level with their university studies, together with those who, because of the sample that was used, were not included in the 2005 survey.

Document PDF PDF A study on the labour market outcomes of Humanities graduates from the public universities in Catalonia. A follow-up six years after graduation

In relation to the employment outcomes Humanities graduates, the following conclusions have been drawn:

Job situation

  • Out of those who were in employment in 2005, for 93.4% (285 individuals) there was no variation three years later, whereas for 6.6% (20) there was a deterioration (they had either become unemployed and/or were inactive).
  • 94.3% (33) of those unemployed and 71.4% (20) of those inactive in 2005 had improved their job situation three years later and found a job.
  • 28.5% (8) of those inactive and 5.8% (2) of those unemployed continued to be in the same situation six years after obtaining their degree.

To sum up, there was no change for the greater majority of those who were in employment. Only 6.6% (20) went from being in employment to being unemployed or inactive three years later.

84.1% (53) of the Humanities graduates who in 2005 were unemployed or inactive had improved their job situation three years later. Out of the total of those who were inactive (28), 28% (8) continued to be in the same situation in 2008.

Education-job match

The situation in 2008 was clearly more positive than in 2005, and there was improvement for almost half of them (46.5%). The results could also be read negatively, however, in that more than half of those who were mismatched in 2005 (53.5%) still continued to be mismatched.

The fact that a university degree was a requirement in order to obtain their job in the past appeared to contribute to the improvement in match after three years. The percentage of progress for those who were required to have a university degree to obtain their job was 63.6%, which is 20 points higher than the percentage of progress of those who were not required to have a university qualification.

The fact that a university degree is a requirement for obtaining a job seems to increase the probability of graduates ultimately having job duties that are on a level with their university studies. For example, the percentage of people with the highest match is higher for the group that were required to have a university qualification than for those who were not required to have any degree (24% compared to 14%) and, on the contrary, the mismatch percentage is higher for those who were not required to have a degree (51% compared to 31%).

Comparison between cohorts

A comparison between the results of Humanities graduates who obtained their degrees six years before and who were left out of the 2005 sample and those of graduates in other disciplines three years after their graduation leads to the following conclusions:

  • Job situation. While graduates in the Social Sciences, Health Sciences and Engineering and Architecture, three years after obtaining their degrees, had an employment rate that was higher than 91% in 2005 and more than 94% in 2008, in the Humanities (96%) six years were required to get an equal result.
  • Type of contract. Humanities graduates managed to improve the proportion of permanent contracts (an increase in the permanent contract rate), grant holders and those without a contract (a decrease in the proportion of grant holders and those without a contract) six years after obtaining their degrees. Apart from the Health Sciences and Engineering and Architecture, the Humanities had a higher proportion of self-employed graduates six years after graduating.
  • Match. The match of Humanities graduates with job duties not on a level with their university studies improved slightly six years after obtaining their degrees. Nevertheless, it continued to be the discipline with the poorest education-job match six years after graduation.
  • Monthly income. There was an important improvement in this aspect in that the proportion of Humanities graduates with an income of more than two thousand euros a month six years after obtaining their degrees was at the same level as that for graduates in the Social Sciences and Experimental Sciences.

23.5.2013