Tag: graduates

News: Low unemployment amongst Norwegian Master graduates

logo_en_graa-300x120New data from a NIFU report suggests that nine out of ten of Norwegian Masters degree graduates are at work six months after graduation. The data was compiled based on a nation wide survey of Masters degree candidates six months after graduation where main focus was put on the transfer from education to work. The main findings from the report are summarised in the following key points:

In general, there are few changes in the employability and unemployment amongst graduates is 6,8%. While there are generally minor differences in the general unemployment rates of new graduates, the group where unemployment had risen more than others,  was those in economic-administrative disciplines. Furthermore, despite for continuous calls for more education in natural sciences that has been prominent in Norwegian public debate in recent years, the report indicated that those with a background in natural sciences have a rather high unemployment level (9,6%), while unemployment is on below average level for those with engineering degrees (6%).

There has been a substantial growth in the number of masters degrees in Norway between 2003 and 2013, and there has been a debate on what has been termed “Masters Disease” (Mastersyke) in Norwegian media, where a core argument has been that Norwegian higher education educates too many with Masters degrees and that this kind of over-education has adverse effects on the labour market. However, the NIFU report does not suggest that there has been an increase in the mismatch between labour market needs and graduate educational levels, and this is in fact relevant for all disciplinary fields. There is indeed a certain number of Masters degree candidates working on positions where a bachelors degree would sufficient. At the same time, what is notable is that the share of these graduates has not increased despite a substantial increase of Masters degree candidates in recent years. As such, the report does not confirm the anecdotal stories of candidates with masters degrees working in low-skilled work where no higher education is not required, suggesting that the labour market and educational structure in Norway is  different than what one can find in countries such as the US.




Professionally oriented Masters Programmes give a clear advantage on the labour market

businessA new Norwegian study by NIFU has examined labour market conditions for Norwegian Masters degree holders three years after degree completion. The key finding is that those with a more profession-oriented degree have clear advantages on the labour market. Norway is known for its generally low unemployment rate, even in the context of current global economic crisis where especially youth unemployment has been increasing in a number of countries to record levels.

Recent prognosis for Norway is an estimated unemployment rate of 4,6% by 2016, with current estimates being around 3,6%. This suggest a rather different labour market context than in the rest of the world, and provides an interesting case for examining how students perceive their own options and capacities on the labour market when the conditions are rather stable.

The results from the study suggest that a Masters degree definitely pays off. Nearly 99% of the graduates were active on the labour market three years after graduation.  However – this was not in all cases stable employment, as the graduates also reported some periods of unemployment. The report suggests that this is due to the fact that many graduates do struggle to find relevant employment and the transfer from studies to work-life is not always smooth. Furthermore, the disciplinary differences were very clear. Where psychology and engineering graduates in fact often were headhunted to their first positions, those with humanities and social sciences background had to use more time to find a job.




Congratulations Graduates of Class of 2013!

Earlier in June, the Faculty of Educational Sciences held a dinner in honor of the new graduates from the international master programmes, including our Hedda graduates.

The evening rounded up two wonderful years, and the evening was a celebration of your achievements. It has been a pleasure getting to know each of you and seeing your development over these past two years.

We all looking greatly to hearing about all the wonderful things you will achieve. Remember to keep in touch and tell us what you are up to, we would be delighted to hear about your future endeavors in the world of higher education.

Congratulations, Hedda graduates!

[flagallery gid=21 name=”Graduation Dinner 2013″]

(Thanks to our students for the pics!) 




New report: College degrees still worth it in the US, but not equally

hardtimesThe Public Policy Institute at Georgetown University has produced a new report titled “Hard Times” examining the issues of unemployment of graduates in the context of the current economic crisis in the US.

While there have been recent media coverage on graduate unemployment in the US and questions have been raised whether college pays off at the time of increased unemployment and skyrocketing debt from tuition fees. From being a taken for granted benefit, for instance conservative pundit William Bennett argues in his latest book that one should  think long and hard before sending their kids to college.

The report from Georgetwon University establishes that at times of crisis when one examines college graduates age 25 or higher, their unemployment rates are significantly lower than of those without higher education: 9–10 percent for non-college graduates compared to 4.6–4.7 percent for college graduates. However – it is not only that education matters, it is what you study that matters even more.

The five fields with clearly highest unemployment rates are Information systems, Architecture, Anthropoliy, Film/Photo/Arts, and Political Science, whereas the fields with a clearly lowest unemployment rates include Nursing, Elementary Education, Physical Fitness, Chemistry and Finance.

Finding architecture graduates in the list is perhaps not surprising with the real estate bubble having burst and with a generous oversupply of housing existing in the US. The unemployment rates for Information systems (14,7%) graduates might seem somewhat more surprising, as also other IT graduates have a relatively high unemployment  rate (over 8% for computer science). Social sciences in general provide relatively bad prospects with political science in the t op five worst fields, but also sociology (9,9%) and economics (10,4%) leading to high levels of unemployment. Regarding humanities and arts it is archeology and anthropology (12,6%) that are provide least future jobs.




News: Higher education attainment in the EU growing – share of women in STEM fields decreasing

EUIncreasing educational attainment within the EU was amongst the key objectives in the Europe 2020 strategy, with the goal set on 40% of 30-34 year olds with tertiary education. Despite the recent economic downturn, the share of people with tertiary education has been steadily growing: in 2005 the number was 28%, in 2010 it had increased to 34% and the most recent numbers from 2012 that were recently published indicated that 36% in the 30-34 age cohort had obtained tertiary education.

Furthermore, the recent data indicates that the highest share of the 30-34 age cohort with higher education can be found in Ireland with 51%, Cyprus (49,9%), Luxembourg (49,6% and Lithuania (48,7%), and lowest in Italy, Romania and Malta (22%). Lithuanias northern neighbours Latvia were amongst those with highest growth rates, and the attainment levels almost doubled in Latvia between 2005 and 2012 to 37%. While Romania was amongst the countries with lowest attainment rates, they have nevertheless shown considerable growth, as in 2005 it was only 11% of the age group that had obtained tertiary education.

Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, commented on the most recent numbers:

The progress in achieving our education targets is a positive message in a time of economic uncertainty. The jobs of the future will demand higher qualifications and these figures show that more young people are determined to achieve their full potential. We are also seeing that efforts to improve Europe’s education systems and increase accessibility are paying off (..)