News - February 25, 2016

More insight into job prospects in March

Hoger Onderwijs Persbureau

Have job prospects for Wageningen graduates improved now the economic crisis is coming to an end? This will become clear in March when a new Higher Education Monitor comes out for Wageningen University.

The previous edition of this survey, conducted among recent graduates, came out two years ago. The new edition should reveal the extent to which the crisis is over for Wageningen graduates. When Resource and alumni association KLV analysed the figures in 2014, the prospects for graduates proved to have worsened since 2009. More alumni were unemployed, the average time it took to find a job was longer, and more people were working below their capacity.

Precise information about job prospects has been given an increasingly prominent place in information about degree programmes in recent years. Now that they no longer receive the basic grant from the government, Dutch school students give more importance to job prospects. The ministry of OC&W too wants to see school students getting objective and transparent information. Painfully enough, it emerged last week that there was a calculation error in the information about degree programmes on Studiekeuze123, which aims to provide neutral information about degree programmes. The error meant that students on all university Bachelor’s degree programmes got overoptimistic figures about their job prospects.

The mistake came to light thanks to investigative work by TV programme De Monitor. The journalists couldn’t believe that 86 percent of psychology graduates had a job at graduate level within one and a half years of graduating, as the information on the website suggested. In reality only 55 percent of psychology graduates had a graduate-level job.

It later transpired that the mistake applied not just to Psychology but to all academic Bachelor’s programmes. All the employment figures have now been removed from the information in anticipation of new data. The further and higher educational information site Studiekeuze 123 provides statistics on job opportunities and starting salaries.