Universities systematically collect information about the employment of graduates through career monitoring surveys. This year, the survey focuses on graduates who completed a second-cycle, Master´s level degree, or a Bachelor’s degree in pharmacy or kindergarten teaching in 2012 as well as doctoral graduates of 2014.
The survey provides us with tremendously valuable information with wide applications, such as student guidance, the development of teaching and education, and research on the career paths of university graduates.
Career monitoring information becomes relevant before prospective students even apply to the University. Applicants are interested in the range of employment opportunities provided by the different fields of education. The career survey data is the basis of the national Töissä.fi service, which has been very popular among upper-secondary school leavers and guidance counsellors.
The recently launched Urapolulla.fi service (currently in Finnish only) also takes advantage of the career monitoring survey results. It uses the Töissä.fi data, supporting students in making study and career decisions.
The results of the career monitoring survey constitute a valuable resource for students debating their future careers, although it naturally cannot tell individual people what they should do with their lives. But the results are a useful mirror to help reflect on choices. What kinds of jobs have previous graduates found? What issues have been important for their employment? What kinds of skills should be developed during studies to support a career?
Skill requirements interesting for education development
The University of Helsinki has carried out an extensive degree programme reform, and two of its goals are to increase students’ connections to employers and to help students find employment. Career monitoring data has been used to develop education and teaching.
Tuukka Kangas’ Osaamistutka application (currently in Finnish only) has been particularly popular. It allows students and teaching and research staff to independently analyse the significance of various areas of skill in employment – and to compare these skill requirements with the competences graduates believe their studies developed.
Last spring, I toured the University’s faculties to report on the results of the career monitoring survey. Time and time again, we would stop to talk about the skills graduates need and the development of teaching. Teaching and research staff, directors and steering groups of degree programmes as well as the leadership of faculties and the University are interested in the results of the career monitoring survey and appreciate the University’s alumni providing important information and helping develop education by participating in the survey.
Emphasising career monitoring data in communications
This year, the University of Helsinki is focusing particular attention on communicating about career monitoring. We want to highlight how career monitoring data is used at the University and why its students, doctoral students as well as teaching and research staff hope for a high response rate to the career monitoring surveys.
It is crucial for career monitoring data to be representative, so we must try to get as many responses to the survey as possible.
Dear University of Helsinki alumnus or alumna, please give us 20 minutes of your time and take the survey. Every response is very valuable to us. We process the responses confidentially and report on them in a way that ensures individual respondents cannot be identified.
The author works at the University of Helsinki’s Career Services as a career counselor and is responsible for carrying out the career monitoring surveys at the University of Helsinki.
Read the University of Helsinki’s career monitoring reports here: https://www.helsinki.fi/en/studying/careers/career-placement
The national career monitoring survey results can be found on the website of the Aarresaari Career Services Network of Finnish Universities: https://www.aarresaari.net/career_monitoring