IUS and insertion of the graduates in the employment world: is the insertion of IUS graduates more difficult compared to other academic course graduates? These are the results of the survey conducted among the first 80 graduates who obtained their degree from the time Sophia was instituted up to 2014.
Sophia and the insertion of its graduates into the employment world: is it more difficult than that of other academic course graduates? Are the professional competences IUS offers to students suitably qualified for their insertion into an ever more complex society? Are its objectives aligned with market demands?
The answer to these questions is decisive for whoever is in search of an educational programme that enables students to look for work with the best educational backgrounds. Eight years after the inauguration of Sophia, Licia Paglione, Professor of Social Survey Methodologies, carried out a first survey starting off from these queries, and which produced interesting results.
Some observations were taken from the survey report. The target consisted of the first 80 IUS graduates who had attended and concluded a two-year course within the year 2014. In the first two months of 2015, this group was invited to answer a semi-structured questionnaire drafted to obtain essential information regarding the professional and life trajectories undertaken upon ending their studies in Sophia.
Out of a total of 100 graduates, 61 filled in the questionnaire (75% of the total) and were from 30 different countries. Their cooperation enabled the survey to focus on the value their studies in Sophia had in their search for a job. Firstly, their studies ended in the foreseen period of two years in 91% of the cases; 81% of the graduates found a job within six months after their graduation, and 96% within a year. Today, 51% have a stable job and 26% have fixed-term contracts. Out of these, 62% had full-time jobs and 26% part time jobs, while 13% of the cases represented a second activity.
Most of the graduates (63%) currently cover positions of responsibility in enterprises, public administrations, universities, other cultural agencies, and non-profit organisations: 28% are freelance professionals, businessmen, and consultants. Seven percent are top managers, and 28% work in the scientific and cultural fields of education and research.
The effectiveness of the educational programme compared to the current job placements, seems to be confirmed for two-thirds of the graduates (68%). I think that the programme offered by IUS is coherent with the work they perform. This effectiveness is related to some specific transversal abilities which the graduates believe they have achieved or strengthened during their studies in Sophia. Particularly, they talk about the ability to interact in a “plural” context under the cultural and disciplinary profile, when treating a problem and integrating diverse perspectives and competences, in handling conflicts while working in synergy with other social and cultural actors, and in promoting innovative solutions.
It is to be noted, lastly, that none of the graduates regretted the studies undertaken: 72% would be willing to repeat this all over again, while 28% would repeat the courses and suggested some changes. Among these, they highlighted the lack of apprenticeship and training sessions during the two-year course, and for 35% of the respondents, this is the main priority to be tackled, an issue which has already been targeted by the competent IUS directors.
“Also interesting was the analysis of the strong points indicated by the respondents– Licia Paglione commented – studying in Sophia above all means involvement in a programme of discovery and development of one’s own identity in relating to others, a path that includes and upholds intellectual skills and at the same time embraces the psychological, affective, spiritual and operational resources, and drives each one toward commitment."