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universities need to do more

Swedish uni graduates struggle to find top jobs

Published lördag 29 juni 2013 kl 11.16
One building on the Lund University campus. File photo: Tobias Wallin / Swedish Radio

Two out of five graduates from Sweden's universities have not received a qualified job one year after graduation, reports news agency TT.

"There are weaknesses in the Swedish education system leading to mismatches in the labour market - young people not getting jobs and companies find it difficult to recruit skilled staff," says Tobias Krantz, from the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise.

A year after graduation, only 63 percent of the students had a qualified job, according to the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise (Svenskt Näringsliv) which for six years has measured job chances among a total of about 30,000 students. The figures do not appear to vary significantly with the business cycle.

Tobias Krantz believes that universities could do more to increase the relevance of education for the job market.

"An important factor for the students to gain a qualified job closely after graduation is how closely linked the education is to potential future employers, the results show. It may be a matter of practice, or that the students get to work with the job in cooperation with various employers. Cooperation with industry led to the students quickly getting a job, and they got more skilled jobs," says Tobias Krantz to TT.

The fact that many do not find relevant jobs is problematic, partly because lengthy unemployment risks impacting on a salary for a long time. According to a previous study from IFAU, students who were unemployed for a time after graduating had 30 percent lower incomes than others five years after graduation.

The proportion who get a job corresponding to their education level varies greatly depending on the university. For example, only 30 percent of biology students at Linköping University have a qualifed job one year after graduation, compared with 58 percent at the University of Lund.

The starting salary is also important for future wages, and salaries vary widely between different universities. Anyone who has studied business administration at the Stockholm School of Economics, a median of SEK 32 000, while a recent graduate business student from the University of Skövde only got just over SEK 23 500 according to the report.

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