Thursday, December 11, 2014

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Yair Assaf-Shapira

During the 2011-2012 academic year, a total of 37,670 students were enrolled in Jerusalem’s academic institutions, constituting 15% of the total number of students in Israel. Among Jerusalem’s students, 20,580 were enrolled at the Hebrew University, 11,410 were enrolled in academic colleges, and 5,680 were enrolled in colleges of education. 

The students’ fields of study varied widely. At the Hebrew University the most popular fields of study were the social sciences (27% of students), humanities (22%), and natural sciences and mathematics (20%). Recently published data from a long-term study by the Central Bureau of Statistics explores the following question, among others: What will students in the various fields do after graduation?

The study surveyed students who had completed their studies in the 2005-06 academic year, using two points in time: 2008 and 2011. An examination of areas of employment (economic sectors) among graduates reveals that two years after graduation, a high percentage of law school graduates (62%) are employed in the business service sector, as are natural sciences and mathematics graduates and engineering and architecture graduates. A high percentage of medical school graduates (72%) are, unsurprisingly, employed in the healthcare, welfare, and nursing services, whereas social sciences and humanities graduates are distributed across several economic sectors. Among humanities graduates the main sectors are education (28% of graduates) and business services (24%). For social sciences graduates the main sectors are business services (29%), and banking, insurance, and finance (18%).

As the years passed, changes in the employment sectors of graduates were observed, and the methodology of the study enables us to examine them. Among 2005-06 humanities and social sciences graduates, the percentage employed in the healthcare, welfare, and nursing sector increased (by 4.4 and 4.7 percentage points, respectively) between 2008 and 2011. Among natural sciences and mathematics graduates as well as engineering and architecture graduates, the percentage employed in the business service sector increased (by 4.2 and 4.8 PPs, respectively) – this already being the main employment sector among these graduates. 

Regarding continuing education, 38% of bachelor’s degree recipients went on to pursue a master’s degree, and evidently the field with the highest degree of continuing students is the natural sciences and agriculture (47% of bachelor’s degree recipients continued to study for a master’s degree). The most popular field for the pursuit of a master’s degree was business and management, with 14% of graduates (about 36% of students who went on to pursue a master’s degree) selecting this field.



Translation: Merav Datan

Sources of data: 
Continuing Studies and Employment Five Years after Receiving a Bachelor’s Degree, Central Bureau of Statistics, November 2014

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