Career monitoring survey for alumni maps skills required in working life

Sari Haataja
Head of Career Services Sari Haataja is managing a career monitoring survey at Tampere University, which provides valuable information on working life to support the development of education.
On 1 October, nationwide career monitoring surveys of universities are launched again. The graduates are approached by text messages, letters or e-mail.

The survey concerns alumni from 2015 and will be sent to engineers and architects who graduated from Tampere University of Technology and to graduates of the University of Tampere with a Master’s degree, Licentiate of Medicine or a Bachelor of Education degree (teacher in early childhood education). A career monitoring survey will also be sent to graduates with doctoral degrees from the year 2017.

The surveys are carried out by the nationwide Aarresaari network of universities’ career services. The network is currently chaired by Tampere University.

Valuable information about the skills needed in working life

Universities have been monitoring the employment and graduates’ early careers with joint surveys for 15 years. The joint surveys provide a broad picture of the labour market and the skills needed of people with a university degree. The acquired knowledge is commensurate regardless of the university or field of education, meaning that it is a good indicator of differences between fields.

The surveys are aimed at alumni from some years ago when the graduates already have some distance to their studies and can assess satisfaction with their education in relation to their career. In particular, the survey maps the skills the alumni have benefited from in working life and what kind of skills they would encourage students to acquire with a view to future working life.

“The surveys provide valuable information directly from alumni. They are the best experts to assess the competence produced by education and the factors affecting employment and career,” says Sari Haataja, project director in charge of conducting the surveys at Tampere University.

Career monitoring information can be used in a variety of ways in teaching, supervision and guidance of students and the development of education.

“It is important that students receive current information about different career opportunities and the labour market in their field during their studies. In this way, they can make more informed choices about their studies or internships and be more confident about how to focus their careers. The information is also interesting for those who are still planning their studies or applying for education,” Haataja notes.

The results also have an impact on universities’ funding

According Haataja, the joint career monitoring of universities is also significant on an international scale in terms of scope and modes of operation.

“Finnish universities have collaborated, and the activities have been developed on a long-term basis. The results of the surveys are shared openly, and efforts have been made to make it easy to compare the results, for example, between fields of education or universities. The material is also widely used in research,” Haataja points out.

The Master’s level career monitoring will also be used as an indicator in the universities’ new funding model that will be applied from the beginning of 2021. Therefore, the results of this year’s survey will have a direct impact on universities’ funding.   

“The connection to university funding adds even more weight to the surveys. All answers matter,” Haataja emphasises.

UAS have their own survey

Universities of applied sciences will conduct their own career follow-up survey a little later. Graduates with UAS degrees and UAS Master’s degrees in 2015 will receive an e-mail or text message about the survey in mid-October.

UAS are now conducting the survey for the third time.

Information on the career follow-up surveys:
Valuable information on working life from our alumni
Project Director Sari Haataja, tel. 050 421 0254, sari.haataja [at]



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