ATRACK Project: Graduate Tracking 2017-2021

Register-based analysis of career starts and career paths of university graduates in the Austrian labour market

HRSM Project, funded by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (BMBWF) with EUR 250,000

Project duration: 1 August 2017 - 31 December 2021

Project lead

  • University of Vienna

Project partners

  • University of Graz
  • Vienna University of Economics and Business
  • University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna
  • Johannes Kepler University Linz
  • Paris Lodron University of Salzburg
  • Medical University of Vienna
  • Medical University of Graz
  • Vienna University of Technology
  • Graz University of Technology
  • Mozarteum University Salzburg
  • University of Art and Design Linz

Cooperation partner

  • Statistics Austria

Other participating universities

  • University of Innsbruck
  • Medical University of Innsbruck
  • University of Klagenfurt
  • Montanuniversity of Leoben
  • University of Music and Performing Arts Graz
  • University of Music and Performing Arts Wien
  • University of Applied Arts Vienna
  • Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
  • University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna


Project description

Aims and data basis

Graduate tracking aims at determining labour market integration and career paths of graduates. This is done by carrying out a register-based analysis of professional entry, employment and income opportunities. The project is based on register data from the Main Association of Austrian Social Security Organisations, the resident register and the educational attainment register. Statistics Austria aggregates and processes these data in anonymous form. The focus is on gathering information about occupational careers of people resident in Austria after they left a formal Austrian educational institution (either by graduating or by dropping out). In addition to their own data, the twelve participating universities also have a common body of data, including comparative data from throughout Austria, at their disposal.

Thereby, the universities participating in the project have access to important comparative information about their graduates’ entry to the profession and their first career years after they completed their studies (especially about the duration until they found their first occupation, their employment status, labour market integration and income and the economic sector in which they work).

Using the results

The results of the Graduate Tracking are used for a number of purposes, including:

  • as a basis for steering decisions by university bodies,
  • as an aid for prospective students when deciding on a degree programme,
  • as a basis for career counselling for graduates,
  • as general information for the public.

Project phases

In the first stage, the participating universities create the study design for their cooperation project. This is based on the models that the Universities of Vienna and of Graz, in cooperation with Statistics Austria have developed so far. Subsequently, Statistics Austria establishes a common body of data, as well as one data cube for each of the twelve universities participating in the project. Each of these data cubes is filled with the university’s own data, and the comparative data from throughout Austria. After completing the data cubes, each university gains access to all the data according to the study design. The results are prepared and plotted appropriately and, as much as possible, in automated form.

Aims and measures of the Graduate Tracking

  1. Synthesis and further development of existing approaches for a data-based tracking of graduates’ career paths, such as additional data on dropouts
  2. Positioning the respective university in a nationwide comparison by means of an appropriate, register-based data infrastructure
  3. Comparative analysis of career paths of graduates and dropouts of the participating universities
  4. Strengthening inter-university cooperation
  5. Standardised processing and visualisation of the results, in a way that is appropriate for strategic decisions, for purposes of curriculum development, planning of degree programmes and as information for prospective students and career services
  6. Guaranteeing the study design’s sustainability regarding feasibility and affordability after the project’s completion, possibility of including more universities in the project, as well as the potential for a larger data basis.

Continuation as a consortium

The Austrian graduate tracking system is continued as a consortium led by the University of Vienna. Austrian higher education institutions, that are not yet consortium partners, can apply to the University of Vienna for admission.


Mag. Dr. Michael Hofer

T: +43-1-4277-18010

HR Mag. Dr. Lukas Mitterauer-Koch

T: +43-1-4277-18002

Mag. Franziska Kurka, BSc MSc

T: +43-1-4277-18008