Students sitting in class

They earn more, have more jobs and their parents don’t have higher education. Portuguese people with higher education have better working conditions, with higher salaries and open-ended contracts. They show high levels of satisfaction with their education and professional situation and, in terms of studies, most have gone beyond the level reached by their parents, concludes the study.

The majority of graduates from the national higher education system have parents with no higher education and less than 30% have parents with higher education. In fact, the most common thing among graduates is for their parents to have completed basic education at most. This is one of the conclusions of a study developed by the Directorate-General for Education and Science Statistics (DGEEC) in collaboration with the Higher Education Policy Research Center (CIPES) and presented this Friday in Lisbon.

The study, which involved more than 35,000 people with higher education diplomas, also concludes that those who have been graduating for longer and those with higher qualifications tend to enjoy better conditions on the job market, either because they don’t lack work or because they are paid more for what they do.

And while the social elevator shows that it works when it comes to academic qualifications, when it comes to gender differences, men continue to earn more than women and have higher levels of employment. In fact, “male graduates earn, on average, 19-23% more than female graduates”. In addition, “they have a higher level of employment, a lower level of unemployment, more stable contracts, higher levels of job satisfaction and a higher level of alignment between higher education and employment,” concludes the study.

In general, age and the number of years in the job market bring salary advantages, and the salaries of graduates with five years in the job market are systematically higher than those who completed their training around a year ago.

On the other hand, the higher the qualifications, the higher the salary level: “Bachelors/masters earn 18-25/46-50% more than graduates of short-cycle higher education programs.”

More satisfactory areas

The study reveals that there are differences between graduates “in terms of the major areas of education/training”. And the conclusion is that “courses in business sciences, administration and law; ICT and engineering, manufacturing and construction; and health are those that provide higher levels of employment, lower risks of unemployment, higher salaries and job satisfaction, more stable contracts and a greater likelihood of alignment between higher education and employment”.

An experience abroad has positive effects and it can be seen that “the international experience of graduates during their higher education is associated with higher salary levels”.

Once they have finished their training, it is those with higher levels of higher qualifications who are also “more likely to be internationally mobile”. And “there is a positive association between the international experience acquired during the study program and the salaries of graduates”.

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