Vocational education fields with low professional placement and the reasons

This OSKA study focuses on vocational education training offerings and fields/curricula that have low professional placement, as well as the reasons for this low professional placement. It was found that less than 40% of graduates from 70 vocational training programs later find employment in their field as their main job. There are clear patterns in the profile of learners and the main reasons for their lack of professional placement.

The main objective of the study is to identify the reasons why curricula with low professional placement have such low placement rates, and to characterize the profile of learners and their sociodemographic/professional distribution in these curricula.

The main research questions are as follows:

  • What are the vocational education fields from which professional placement is low?
  • How do curricula with lower and higher professional placement differ in terms of outcomes (salary, job position, fields of activity)?
  • Why do students enroll in these curricula and what are the reasons for the low placement?
  • How and does low placement and learning motivation differ, for example, by age group and other sociodemographic characteristics?
  • What is the profile of students in curricula with low professional placement?
  • How to ensure better alignment of vocational education with labor market needs?
  • What are the perspectives of schools, alumni, and employers regarding the causes of low placement?
  • Are there any typologies that characterize the reasons for non-placement in curricula with low professional placement?

In this study, curricula with low professional placement are defined as those where professional placement in a primary job, based on the educational key (in Estonian haridusvõti) according to the curriculum code, was below 40%.

The analysis focused on graduates from the last three academic years, namely 2019/2020 to 2021/2022, and their professional placement in the year 2022.

Key findings

OSKA study in Estonian