Universities and higher education institutions closely monitor their graduates’ career development. Master's degree graduates’ responses to career monitoring surveys provide valuable information which the School of Business uses to develop teaching and which also plays a role in the renewal of school accreditations (international quality labels).
‘It is important for us to know how the teaching and degree meet the changing competence needs in the world of work. It is also valuable for our students currently in the process of planning their studies and careers to receive information on graduates’ career paths. The replies also have an effect on the funding provided to the university by the Ministry of Education and Culture,’ says Dean Timo Korkeamäki of the School of Business.
The Career Services of the School of Business collect annual placement data from their alumni, such as one year and five years after graduation.
Ability to describe one's own competence is important
The most recent responses to a one-year survey were received from master's degree graduates of the School of Business in 2018, to whom a survey was sent in autumn 2019. The survey was addressed to 355 alumni whose contact details were found in the alumni register, and 153 of them replied.
According to the respondents, previous work experience, the ability to clearly describe their own competence, and the inclusion of different subject combinations in their degree helped them get their first job. Only 3% of the respondents were unemployed jobseekers when the survey was carried out. According to the ones struggling to find employment, the lack of work experience, limited contacts and networks, and lack of clear employment goals slowed down access to employment.
In the most likely scenario, recently graduated masters found their first job through social media channels (especially LinkedIn), career portals, and by responding to a job posting published on the Aalto CareerWeb. Three quarters of the respondents said that they had taken advantage of the Aalto CareerWeb job portal and participated in the ARENA Career Fair (currently Aalto Talent Expo) organised by the School of Business and Hanken. More than one in three had visited the CV clinic or otherwise received career counselling in the Career Services of the School of Business. Career Services senior specialists Tanja Makkonen and Annemari Rautio received praise from the respondents.
The ability to learn and apply new skills is emphasised at work
The Aarresaari network of career and recruitment services at Finnish universities conducts an annual survey for masters who have graduated five years earlier. In autumn 2019, the survey was sent from universities to master's graduates from 2014. In 2014, 31% of master's degree graduates from the School of Business responded to the survey.
Ninety-five per cent of the respondents were satisfied with their degree from the perspective of their career, and an equal percentage of respondents were satisfied with their career so far. As the most important skills required at work, the respondents listed the ability to learn and apply new skills, cooperation skills, analytical capabilities, problem-solving skills and self-direction. Five years after graduation, 54% of the respondents were satisfied, 25% very satisfied, and 16% fairly satisfied with their degree from the perspective of their career. The respondents felt that employers appreciated the Master of Science (Economics and Business Administration) degree.
‘I am happy that so many master's graduates from the School of Business have responded to our placement and career monitoring surveys and are thus helping us develop our teaching. Thank you very much to all the respondents. The replies to the five-year survey emphasised that students need support in developing their stress tolerance capacity, as well as their organisational, coordination and project management skills. We will try to respond to these needs better in the future’, says Dean Timo Korkeamäki.
Text: Terhi Ollikainen
A placement survey of our master’s graduates from 2019 is under way until the end of September 2020. The graduates have received the survey by e-mail.
A career monitoring survey of our master’s graduates from 2015 is running from 1 October to 14 December 2020. You can receive the survey by e-mail, mail or text message.
We are hoping to receive many responses to the surveys again. Thank you in advance!