The role of field research carried out in competition projects is to verify the accuracy and reliability of indicators used to monitor the fate of graduates. Collecting information from both students and school directors, as well as examining the same respondents at different moments in timeline, will allow to determine not only how their fate is, but also what the graduates’ fate depends on. Thanks to this, based on the research results, it will be possible to recommend solutions conducive to educating students in an optimal way from the perspective of their professional future and the needs of employers.
The conducted research will provide an in-depth picture of the situation of graduates of vocational education, and at the same time will allow testing of solutions developed by IBE in connection with the construction of a graduate monitoring system. One of such solutions is an online survey of the fate of graduates, which will be a complement to the monitoring based on administrative data. The advantage of administrative data is providing precise information on the continuation of education and the situation on the labor market of graduates (including their earnings). On the other hand, the survey data will complement this picture with conclusions regarding the compliance of graduates’ work with their learned profession and the so-called qualitative dimensions of their employment, primarily job satisfaction. In the second stage of the competition project, it is planned to create and test online tools for monitoring the fate of graduates for school heads in the form of an on-line questionnaire and a reporting program that will generate reports for schools participating in the study. The solution developed during the project can be used by the headmaster of any vocational school in Poland free of charge.
Field research is carried out by research companies PBS Sp. z o.o. and Danae Sp. z o.o., in cooperation with the Educational Research Institute. Research companies entrusted with carrying out the research were selected in a competition under the Knowledge Education Development Operational Program (PO WER) – Measure 2.15 Vocational education and training adapted to the needs of a changing economy.
It is planned to send online surveys (CAWI) to the directors of all vocational education schools that have students in the last grades. Short online surveys will also be directed to students in the last grades of schools whose directors agree to participate in the survey. Respondents who fill out surveys as students for the first time will be asked to complete the surveys twice or three times when they are graduates. The implementation of online surveys with principals and final-grade students is planned for the first half of 2020 and the first half of 2021. Online surveys with graduates will be conducted at several-month intervals until March 2022.
The system will provide reliable information on the employment and pay conditions of graduates in individual professions, industries and regions. Such information significantly reduces information asymmetry in the relationship between graduates taking up their first job and employers. Employers can use this information to update and better align graduate employment policies with the realities of the labor market.
Reliable and easily available knowledge about the fate of graduates will allow to build evidence-based image of industry education. Access to systematically collected and shared information on industry education will help overcome negative stereotypes that affect it, although they are not confirmed by reality.
What is more, in approximately one thousand randomly selected schools, with the consent of their headmasters, in the first half of 2020, interviewers will conduct surveys (CAPI) with final grade students. The sample will have approximately 15,000 students. By March 2022, interviewers will return to the same respondents twice, without involving schools.