Aalto University: The MSc (Econ & BusAdmin) degree is appreciated in the labour market, say recent School of Business graduates

Universities and higher education institutions closely monitor the career development of their graduates. Responses to career monitoring surveys sent to master’s degree graduates provide valuable information that the School of Business can use in developing teaching and career guidance for students. Responses also play a role in the renewal of school accreditations (international quality labels).

‘It is important for us to have certainty that our teaching and degrees meet the changing competence requirements of the working life. It is also valuable for our students currently in the process of planning their studies and careers to receive information on graduates’ career paths. Responses to career monitoring surveys also have an impact on the funding received by the university from the Ministry of Education and Culture,’ says Timo Korkeamäki, Dean of the School of Business.

The Career and Recruitment Services of the School of Business collect placement information from its alumni every year. Data is collected for both one year and five years after their graduation.

One must be able to tell about one’s own competence
The most recent responses to a one-year survey were received from master’s degree graduates of the School of Business in 2019, to whom a survey was sent in autumn 2020. In 2019, 424 students with a degree of MSc (Econ & Bus.Admin) graduated from the School of Business. The survey was sent to the 388 people whose contact details were found in the alumni register. 186 alumni responded to the survey.

According to the placement survey, 80% of our students were already employed before graduating. According to the respondents, their ability to describe their own competence, the inclusion of different subjects in the qualification and previous work experience helped them to get their first job. In recent years, the aforementioned views and experiences have been repeated quite unchanged in the responses.

A year after the completion of their studies, 94% of the respondents had employment while 2% said they were job seekers. The private sector was clearly the largest employer (84%). The most cited field in which the respondents worked was consulting, with the job title being that of a consultant, although there was a great number of employment sectors and various job titles.

Studies give a good foundation for the working life
The Aarresaari network of career and recruitment services at Finnish universities conducts an annual survey for masters who have graduated five years earlier. In autumn 2020, the survey was sent from universities to master’s graduates from 2015. Of the masters who had graduated from the School of Economics in 2015, 170, or 37%, responded to the survey.

More than 90% of the respondents were satisfied with both their degree from the perspective of their career prospects and their current career. The respondents listed the ability to learn and apply new skills, analytical capabilities, problem-solving skills, self-direction and cooperation skills as the most important skills in their work. The respondents felt that employers appreciated the Master of Science (Economics and Business Administration) degree.

‘I really appreciate that so many master’s graduates from the School of Business have responded to our placement and career monitoring surveys and are thus helping us develop our teaching. Just as last year, the replies to the five-year survey emphasised that students need support, in particular, in developing their stress tolerance capacity, as well as their organisational, coordination and project management skills. We will also continue to support the development of such general working life skills in our teaching,’ says Dean Korkeamäki.

The Career and Recruitment services of the School of Business support the school’s students in finding employment, for example, by offering career counselling and publishing job advertisements on the JobTeaser portal. Every autumn, Aalto University also organises Aalto Talent Expo and, in January, a Summer Job Day, where students can discuss career opportunities with employers, and employers can offer work to students soon to graduate. During the year, other events will also be organised, offering students the opportunity to meet alumni graduated from the School of Business. Tanja Makkonen, Senior Manager, and Milja Koski, Manager, work at the Career and Recruitment services of the School of Business.