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Graduates of the University of Helsinki are finding work


According to the latest career follow-up survey of the University of Helsinki, 84% of students who graduated five years ago are now in jobs that either correspond to their level of education or are more demanding. Over half of the graduates constantly use the skills and knowledge that they learned at the University in their work. One third of the respondents have been unemployed at some point after their graduation.

The results of the career placement report of the University of Helsinki have been published in connection with the nationwide career follow-up survey. Even though discussion focuses on the changing working life and the low employment rate, the survey reveals that higher education still offers a good foundation for working life and helps in finding work when compared to the entire population. However, the relative benefit of higher education has decreased.

Based on the survey, the University of Helsinki offers good skills in theoretical and analytical thinking, information retrieval and acquisition, taking initiative and Finnish-language communication. Many specialist positions will continue to require the same skills in the future – despite the changes in working life.

There are flaws too. According to the respondents, University studies do not sufficiently develop stress tolerance or skills in cooperation, organisation, negotiation, networking and project management. In a world full of temporary work and hidden jobs, these skills would be in great demand.

Solutions suggested by the Student Union could include courses on study ability, which would develop students’ skills in time and stress management as well as offer means to manage themselves. Such courses would both help students progress in their studies and create working life competences. However, it is more important to plan all studies in a competence-based manner: students must be able to identify the concrete learning outcomes of all studies. This would allow them to perceive the connections that courses and study units have with working life with more clarity than at present.