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Employment reaches 85% among university graduates

The Catalan university system is a positive and differential element when seeking employment, given that students double their possibilities of finding work, according to the findings of the fifth survey of graduate labour market outcomes.


On 9 July, the results of the fifth study of Entrance in the Labour Market of University Graduates in Catalonia were presented by the authors of the study, the Agency for the Quality of the Catalan University System (AQU). The agency surveyed 17,337 graduates and 1,426 PhD graduates.
The main conclusion of the study is that the Catalan university system is a differential driving force, given that a university degree increases the opportunities of graduates of entering the labour market (85% of graduates and 93% of PhD graduates are currently working); reduces the time needed to find work (in less than three months 77% of graduates had found a job); and guarantees better salaries (the average salary for graduates is 1,900 euros gross per month, and higher for PhD graduates).
The Catalan university systems also managed to improve in the evaluation graduates make of the education they received, according to the AQU, possibly due to the efforts the universities have made to adapt to the European Higher Education Area, in which over 70% of graduates and 80% of PhD graduates mention that, were they to start over, they would repeat their studies.
The most relevant data includes the following:

  • A total of 85% of graduates and 93% of PhD graduates find work in the three years following the completion of their studies.
  • Unemployment levels reach 11% among graduates and 5% among PhD graduates.
  • The Labour Force Survey of the first trimester 2014 measures unemployment levels according to education levels for those aged 25 to 44 at 34% for people with a primary education level; at 26% for those with secondary education level; and 16% for those with higher education levels. Three years after completing their studies, graduates in Catalonia improve these percentages by 23, 15 and 5 points, while PhD graduates do so by 29, 21 and 11 points.
  • 75% of graduates and 88% of PhD graduates work full-time.
  • 78% of graduates and 97% of PhD graduates work in fields which require university training.
  • 48% of graduates and 46% of PhD graduates work under a stable contract.
  • 45% of graduates and 78% of PhD graduates earn over 24,000 euros annually.
The complete report can be consulted at Universitat i treball a Catalunya 2014 (pdf) 

All public and private universities in Catalonia participated in this survey, which due to its scope and history is one of the most important in Europe (with editions in 2001, 2005, 2008, 2011 and 2014 on graduates having completed their studies three years before): with 80,000 people registered, Catalonia has the most representative labour force database in Europe. In this edition, 17,295 graduates of a total of 31,734 were surveyed, and 2,107 PhD graduates of a total of 3,104.
The survey, conducted in the first trimester of 2014, included graduates who completed their studies in 2009 (except for Medicine graduates, who were taken from 2007) and PhD graduates from the 2009 and 2010 academic years.

More information:  Agency for the Quality of the Catalan University System