“I don't think my schools helped me much to prepare for a working life,” said Silvia Kováčová, who graduated from a graphic design programme in 2020. “If I wasn’t searching for opportunities myself, it would be hard to find a job in my field of study.”
She acquired many experiences, related to both work and language, during her Erasmus studies and stays abroad, and even found a job in a graphic design studio while studying.
The opinion that school did not do much to help their graduates find a job is shared by 41 percent of the public university student respondents of the “Quarter to Quality Education” survey, carried out by the Slovak Accreditation Agency for Higher Education (SAAHE) between late April and late May 2021.
On the other hand, private university students feel better prepared for life and jobs in the future, with only 15 percent saying that they feel insufficiently prepared.
“The reason why private school students felt better prepared for the labour market might be that education in these schools better reflects what is required in practice, and that private school students work more intensely during their studies,” explained Renáta Hall, coordinator of the analytical team at SAAHE. She adds that private schools are more of a reflection of what is required in practice, and more often engage professionals from practice as mentors for final theses.
Meanwhile, the pandemic has made it more difficult for graduates without any practical experience to find jobs. Apart from the lack of a traineeship, the respondents complain of insufficient ways to improve their foreign language and transferable skills during studies.
Fewer job offers for inexperienced graduates
Unlike previous years, students who graduated in 2020 struggled to find a new job more than before.