Only Some Students Fear the Crisis
Students studying defence and military, information technology and law and administration majors are all optimistic, while students studying agricultural and economic majors are clearly pessimistic about their future employment prospects. Amongst other things this has been highlighted by the survey commissioned by Educatio Nonprofit LLC - National Higher Education Information Centre, involving close to eight thousand higher education students. Half of all respondents think that it has become more difficult to find a job in their own professional field since the recession, while nearly 41 per cent see no significant changes in this respect.
The survey, conducted over the past month under the professional coordination of Educatio Public Services Nonprofit LLC - National Higher Education Information Centre, examined the labour market expectations and employment plans of university and college students. Several survey questions in the Graduate Career Tracking 2009 research programme now seem especially timely in the light of the world economic crisis.
Half of the respondents (50.5 percent) think that employment opportunities have become fundamentally worse in their professional field. Another large group is formed by those who see no significant changes in this respect (40.9 percent). Only a few respondents (5.1 percent), presume positive changes.
Results also indicate that students are divided in their assessment of the effects generally negative economic processes have on professional career-building in their own professional fields. We found three areas where the majority is optimistic: defence and military, information technology and law-administration (we must note in the latter case that the good result was principally caused by the strikingly positive expectations of the students at the Police College of Hungary, while the opinion of law students constituting the majority of the educational field is closer to the average). Information technology students are clearly optimistic in terms of their employment prospects, somewhat less than a third of them (29.2 percent) have experiences of negative tendencies. The expectations of students studying for social sciences and humanities majors are more positive than average, which contrasts with several expert opinions; however, it is not certain that student opinions are more realistic.
Students studying economy majors are worth highlighting: students of the most popular educational field for years form the most pessimistic group, since nearly two thirds of them (63.2 percent) have experience of expressly negative tendencies in their professional field, at least in the short term. This result is also interesting because public opinion paints a contrasting picture of the financial sphere. However, students on agricultural majors are the most pessimistic, over two thirds of them (68.2 percent) think that their employment prospects have expressly worsened in the past year.
In 2006, that is, long before the crisis, we asked students, about their employment prospects within one or two years of graduation. Responses were very similar this year to three years previously. Accordingly, 83.9 percent of future graduates think that they will be able to find employment in an appropriate position in their professional field within one or two years of graduation and only 13.7 percent are pessimistic in this respect.