Working Does Not Extend Periods of Study

Working while studying does not affect the employment of young people after graduation. In general, young graduates attach to the labour markets well. In addition, working while studying does not significantly extend the period of study.

The Finnish Centre for Pensions and the University of Tampere examined the working of young adults during their studies and its effects on the labour market attachment of young graduates.

Four different trajectories were discovered, depicting the amount of working during studies. Some of the young work relatively little while studying, some increase their working as they progress in their studies, while others work extensively from the start. The amount of working of those on the fourth trajectory is fairly low.

“The majority of newly graduated young find their place in the labour market after graduation without problems, regardless of how intensively they have worked while studying,” explains the researchers of a new study published by the Finnish Centre for Pensions.

Measured in number of working days, the students on all educational levels found full-time employment fairly quickly after graduation. The examined data does not reveal, however, whether the employments were in fields that correspond to the young graduates’ fields of education.

Although the working life of the young starts already years before graduation, working while studying does not seem to affect the graduation age or the length of study. On average, a basic-level vocational degree is completed at age 21, while a degree from a university of applied sciences or a higher university degree is completed at age 25 or 26.

The fading group baffles

Although the transfer from studies to working life is easy for most graduates, the researchers noticed a group of so-called “fading” graduates. These graduates accrue hardly any earnings-related pension during or after their studies.

The group of fading graduates is particularly significant (14%) among male graduates with a basic vocational degree, as well as among female graduates (13%) with the same degree. Nearly 40 per cent of them accrue pension only for unpaid periods.

Approximately 7 to 8 per cent of graduates with a higher university degree or a degree form a university of applied sciences do not have an earned income from Finland, which is partly explained by residence abroad.

Labour market attachments of young graduates, Finnish Centre for Pensions, Studies 1/2014 (Executive Summary)