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How is the data to be read?

The development of first-year student figures, graduate figures, employment figures and details given about the age structure of employees is a perspective testimony to the future situation for those who are making a decision about their studies today. These data can, of course, not predict the future with a view to the labour market situation. Accurate forecasts or just obligatory recommendations have become almost impossible because of the dynamism of the labour market. This uncertainty has also become even stronger for the development of employees and the labour market changes in the public sector.

Certainly, these basic data are a great help with orientation and impart an idea of how large the single study courses and the section of the labour market actually is. A critical weighing up of this information can possibly suggest,, anticyclical studying – that is, against the current trend of making a decision to study. How is the data to be read?

Connections between first-year student and graduate details are to be seen by the inclusion of the approximate average study-time time (that is, with an average study-time of ten semesters, the amount of first-year students from 1993 is a base for the graduates graduates of 1998; further bases set the standard of success). In first place the so-called success ratio , which says something about the staying power of a single course of students by subject groups, is of significance. With the inclusion of the so-called 'people who come in through the back door' (changers to a higher semester) the proportion would be a little less. By using the application of the ratio of possibilities, the development of first-year students allows an approximate estimate of the future number of graduates.

For the labour market, the amount of employees with a degree in a specialised subject course indicates how many additional people have received employment - even when it is not especially in the corresponding sector. In this way, for example, it is possible that an educated physicist could work as a management consultant.

It is most important to first consider that the amount of university graduates actually employed in the time from 1985 to 1995 was substantially larger than that to be seen in most diagrams on the rise in employment. This rise actually only gives information about the applicants who were employed in addition to the 1985 available potential (so-called 'additional requirements'). The retirement of a considerable amount of employees who retired from working life between 1985 and 1995 was age-related or they retired for other reasons. This has the statistical effect that for every person who leaves their job a younger graduate is employed (so-called 'replacement demand').

Presently, there is probably only little more than half of the 1985 graduates still employed. The other half are no longer available on the labour market because of their age.

For the individual market sectors - as far as they are widely homogeneous (for example, for doctors or teachers) - the special age structure of those seeking employment is of importance, whereby the age structure of employees is widely shaped by the preceding course of the respective scale of employment. The replacement demand derived from this is an orientation framework, whose relevance first results in context to a quality valuation.