Analysis of Graduates' Career Paths by Analysing Social Security Data (Tracking of Graduates)

The Unit for Quality Assurance, together with Uniport, the University of Vienna's career service, tasks Statistics Austria every three years with the analyse of the social security data of university graduates according to the following criteria:

  • Length of time until first employment after graduation and number of changes of employer
  • First employment: duration, median monthly income, the companies' industrial classification, labour force participation rate and employment status (self-employed, atypical employment,…)
  • Trend observation over subsequent years

About the study for 2003-2014

The study analysed social security data of graduates of the University of Vienna in the period 2003 until 2014 to determine the graduates' career entry profiles when they enter the Austrian labour market*. Therefore, objective data about career entry and the first five years of employment after graduation from university are available. Overall, it has been possible to trace the beginning of the employment career of 43,291 graduates. As many bachelor’s and master’s programmes were only introduced at the University of Vienna a few years ago, conclusive data are not yet available for all degree programmes in this case. The present evaluation was based on degree programme code groups.


Selected results have been visualized in diagrams showing the following findings (available in German):

  • duration of job search until first employment after graduation
  • monthly (gross) income over 5 years
  • employment status over 5 years
  • top sectors (based on Austrian NACE classification of economic activities), 1 year and 5 years after graduation

Missing data in the presentations of findings indicate that there were not sufficient raw data available for the item of the study to ensure the anonymity of the graduates. Study values are median values rather than mean values. The median is the “middle person”. In the case of income data, for example, 50 % of the people lie above this median value and 50 % below. The median is more resistant to extreme scores that can occur in the case of very uneven spreads. If few people earn very much, for example, the mean value would be distorted in this direction.



This study attempted to trace the professional career paths of people who have successfully completed their first degree programme and left university to enter the labour market. Therefore the following groups of graduates were not included in the study:

  • those who had obtained a degree at a similar or higher level and
  • those who enrolled on a degree programme based on the previous one in the next semester
  • those who are over 35 years of age

Restrictions of the study regarding key message and interpretations:

Some subjects have particular characteristics regarding career entry: law (court internship), teacher education programmes (teaching internship), pharmacy (aspirants’ internship) and psychology (clinical psychologist and health psychologist).

It is not possible to find all graduates in the data provided by the Main Association of Austrian Social Security Organisations (such as in the event of stays abroad). This can lead to fluctuations in the number of cases in the employment data.

Particularly in the case of small degree programmes, the findings are the result of data obtained from a small number of graduates and must therefore be interpreted with caution.

The data of the Main Association of Austrian Social Security Organisations do not include any information on working hours (full-time / part-time). Therefore it is also not possible to identify the extent to which lower incomes are due to shorter working hours.

In addition, the study does not allow any conclusions to be drawn about the quality of employment – whether employment is appropriate for the respective qualification – and satisfaction with employment.


* This analysis was approved by the Austrian Data Protection Authority and conducted by Statistics Austria in a way that no conclusions can be drawn about individuals.


HR Mag. Dr. Lukas Mitterauer

T: +43-1-4277-18002