Published: 26 January 2016

Transition to work was more difficult for recent graduates than during the previous downturn

According to Statistics Finland's education statistics, employment of recent graduates continued weakening in 2014. One year after graduation, 66 per cent of those having completed a qualification were working, which is two percentage points lower than in the year of downturn, 2009. In total, 51 per cent were working full-time and 15 per cent were working besides studies in 2014. The proportion of the unemployed grew by two percentage points, to 13 per cent.

Employment of graduates one year after graduation 1998–2014, %

Employment of graduates one year after graduation 1998–2014, %

Employment among recent graduates is measured one year after their graduation. Every fifth of those with qualifications from upper secondary vocational education were unemployed. Sixty-five per cent were working, nine per cent of whom were studying alongside working. Every tenth of those having completed a polytechnic degree and nearly nine per cent of those with a higher university degree were out of work. From both levels of education, 83 per cent found employment. Employment of doctors weakened by nearly four percentage points from the previous year. Eighty-four per cent of recently graduated doctors were working.

Compared to the year before, transition to work by both men and women weakened by around two percentage points. Of men, 59 per cent had found employment and of women 71 per cent. During the previous downturn in 2009, 60 per cent of men and 73 per cent of women were employed. Employment of men graduating from vocational education is particularly difficult. In 2014, 58 per cent of men with vocation qualifications and 72 per cent of women were working. These shares were 81 per cent for men and 84 per cent for women among those with polytechnic degrees. Men and women with higher university degrees found employment almost equally easily – around 83 per cent of them were working.

The majority of those having completed the matriculation examination and a lower university degree continue studying in other education, 64 per cent of passers of the matriculation examination and 87 per cent of completers of lower university degrees. More information related to direct transition to further studies of passers of the matriculation examination is available from the statistics on Entrance to education .

There were differences in the transition to working life by field of education. The transition was easiest for those with qualifications from the field of safety and security, where good nine out of ten were employed, and from the field of social services, health and sport, where almost nine out of ten were employed. At 22 per cent, the number of unemployed was highest in the field of technology and transport. More detailed data on the employment of recent graduates by level and field of education can be found in the database tables .

Examined by region, the rate of employment among recent graduates varied from 83 per cent in Åland to 57 per cent in North Karelia. Besides Åland, the rate of employment was higher than the average for the whole country in the regions of Uusimaa, Kanta-Häme, Central Ostrobothnia and Ostrobothnia.

Source: Education 2016. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Anna Loukkola 029 551 3678,

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma

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Tables in databases

Appendix tables

Updated 26.1.2016

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Transition from school to further education and work [e-publication].
ISSN=1798-9469. 2014. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 18.9.2019].
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