Career Tracking: The Cornerstone of Conscious Decisions
One of the highlighted objectives of career tracking is to help in career planning during and after the years spent at university or college. It strives to provide practical and useful answers to questions that arise, especially in the transition period between higher education and work. It helps in mapping out the competencies required for a given job and the chances a fresh graduate has on the labour market with those competencies.
Demand and supply may converge on each other with the help of career tracking, i.e. university and college study programmes may be able to adapt better to the demands of the labour market. The results of career tracking research may encourage institutions to teach or transfer the knowledge that employees expect from fresh graduates. On the other hand employers may gain a clearer picture of what they can expect from graduates starting their career with the current qualifications.
This Type of Information is Hard to Collect
Ideally all applicants should know when they apply the likelihood of their finding employment when they graduate and where. In choosing a college or university, the opinions and experiences of students graduating there should be taken into consideration. All these pieces of information are available today from a variety of open days, forums, student organisations and from many other sources. Finding it, however, is both difficult and time-consuming, and it is difficult to draw conclusions that are valid nationwide, or that are at least valuable to the profession. Not to mention the fact that many pieces of information that are available are hidden in various administrative databases (e.g. the tax office wage database for graduates starting their careers) and require extended investigation to find, although they would be useful.
The Solution: Institutional and Central Career Tracking
In line with current plans, the situation will be resolved by the Graduate Career Tracking System (GCTS) financed by the European Union, which will collect the results of institutional career-tracking surveys implemented from Union and other sources and connect them with administration data sources. As soon as the central GCTS database is created an answer will be available, for example, to the question of where communication major students around the country are most satisfied with their study programme, or of how rapidly, where and with what remuneration graduates in technical fields find employment. There will also be central surveys in relation to this; a nationwide survey has already been conducted among students mapping out their plans and expectations following graduation.
According to career consultants, career tracking resolves deficiencies inasmuch as it provides information about where graduates of a given study programme have been employed, what they were able to utilise from the material they studied at school, as well as the competencies that they had to acquire later, in addition to the income they could generate for themselves. "With these pieces of information, more conscious decisions could be made when choosing a major. Decisions made on the basis of entrance exam subjects are unfortunately still very strong in career choice today. Many bad choices could be prevented if we sized up our own interests and the knowledge and competencies required for a successful career start," says career consultant Andrea Juhos.