International Business School regularly conducts its Employability Survey to follow up on the career progression success (employment/further education) of its fresh graduates. Six months after our graduation ceremony, we have reached out to our former students to inquire about their career paths and to ask them to briefly reflect on their studies at IBS in the light of their new experiences.
In February 2017, IBS issued degrees to 53 students, who finished a postgraduate programme and earned a degree of The University of Buckingham. In our current survey we managed to get in touch with 36 of them, i.e. 68% of the entire cohort, which is an exceptionally high response rate especially compared to other university-managed employability surveys in Hungary.
The results of the current survey are indeed exceptional:
- more than 80% of our students have found full-time employment in parallel or immediately after finishing their studies at IBS;
- the vast majority (66%) of our graduates earn more than 300,000 HUF per month; almost 27% of the MSc graduates earn more than 600,000 HUF a month.
- according to our graduates, the top three skills learned at IBS are communication, teamwork and research and analytical skills;
- the majority of our students (64%) reported that they make remarkable or excellent use of the skills acquired at IBS in their current roles.
The population of the survey were IBS students who graduated in February 2017 from one of our graduate programmes (MSc in International Management, MSc in Marketing Management, MSc in Human Resource Management or MSc in Financial Management) that lead to the degree of The University of Buckingham. The survey was managed through email surveys and short interviews via telephone by the Student Centre at International Business School. The answers were collected, saved and managed via Google Forms.
A significant portion of the non-response rate can be attributed to the fact that many of our non-EU students leave Hungary upon graduation and discontinue their mobile phone subscriptions. We are currently introducing a new procedure to collect up-to-date contact data from prospective graduates via Moodle during their final months studying at IBS.
Survey respondents by programme
53 students received their degrees in February 2017, 36 of whom responded to the IBS survey resulting in an overall response rate of 68%. This response rate is significantly higher than that of other Employability Surveys in Hungary, and slightly higher than IBS’ own Employability Survey (2016) that had a response rate of 58% albeit examining a much larger cohort.
Number of graduates
Number of respondents
MSc Financial Management
MSc Human Resource Management
MSc International Business / MSc International Management
MSc Marketing Management
Table 1 – Survey response rate by programme
The survey managers of the Student Centre managed to increase the response rate by sending out the survey in email as well as initiating several telephone interviews with the above cohort.
Chart 1 – Survey response rate comparison (2016 - 2017)
80% of the survey respondents are employed full-time, 3% part-time, while 17% of graduates are currently looking for employment. Our student are primarily employed at international companies both in Hungary and abroad; the 2017 February cohort currently serves in various positions at multinational companies e.g. Deloitte, Tata Consultancy Services, Shell, IBM, and Amazon among others.
Chart 2 – Employment status of survey respondents (n=36)
A major part of IBS MSc graduates have a (gross) salary range between 300,000 HUF and 600,000 HUF (40%), while 27% have higher monthly salaries than 600,000 HUF in their current position. 25% of students declined to provide data on their current salary range. We may conclude that the gross salary for a majority of IBS Master’s graduates are higher than the average national salary level measured by the Hungarian Central Statistical Office. Many IBS graduates appear to earn more than their peers who graduated at other higher education intuitions with degrees in business and management; however, the current data is difficult to compare to available national surveys (‘DPR’), as the latter conducts surveys with students who graduated 6 months, 2 years and 4 years prior to the survey date.
Chart 3 – Salary range of 2017 February graduates (n=30)
Essential professional skills acquired at IBS
Graduates were asked to determine their top three skills acquired at IBS: those who are currently employed feel that their teamwork skills (70.59%), communication skills (67.65%), and research and analytical skills (61.76%) – see Chart 4 – were most profoundly shaped by their education at IBS. This is in line with IBS’ recent survey conducted in collaboration with Profession.hu, Hungary’s market leading job portal: the survey identified and ranked the most in-demand skills on the Hungarian job market and found that communication skills, problem-solving and analytical skills, computer literacy and teamwork skills ranked highest on the ‘wish list’ of employers when sourcing new talent.
Chart 4 – Professional skills acquired at IBS (n=34)
Overall experience about the value-added of studies at IBS
Students were finally asked to determine the overall usefulness of the skills and knowledge earned during their studies at IBS: the majority of students who are currently employed consider the skills and knowledge earned at IBS remarkably useful in managing their everyday tasks (42.86%), and more than one-third of them (21.43%) marked ‘excellent usefulness’ in terms of the skills acquired at IBS.
Chart 5 – Everyday usefulness of skills and knowledge acquired at IBS (n=28)
 The nationwide ’DPR’ survey has reported an 11.3% response rate in its most recent 2015 survey. Source: Oktatási Hivatal Felsőoktatási Elemzési Főosztály (2015). Diplomás Pályakövetési Rendszer országos kutatás. [Online]. Available at: https://www.felvi.hu/pub_bin/dload/DPR_tanulmanyok/frissdiplomasok_zarotanulmany_2015.pdf [Accessed: December 19, 2017]
 The gross average monthly income in terms of the entire economy stood at 281,900 HUF. Source: Hungarian Central Statistical Office (2017). Gyorstájékoztató – Keresetek, 2017. január – szeptember. [Online]. Available at: https://www.ksh.hu/docs/hun/xftp/gyor/ker/ker1709.html [Accessed: December 19, 2017]
 A net salary of 207,000 HUF was measured in the above detailed mixed aggregate cohort. Source: Oktatási Hivatal Felsőoktatási Elemzési Főosztály (2015). Diplomás Pályakövetési Rendszer országos kutatás. [Online]. Available at: https://www.felvi.hu/pub_bin/dload/DPR_tanulmanyok/frissdiplomasok_zarotanulmany_2015.pdf [Accessed: December 19, 2017]