Employment opportunities for young people who finish university studies have improved significantly in the last ten years, both in quantity and quality. This is clear from the report The job placement of university students 2013-2023 published by the BBVA Foundation and the Ivie within the framework of the U-Ranking project, which reveals that, in that period, the unemployment rate among young graduates between 22 and 29 years old has gone from 29.2% to 12.5%, and the percentage of those who are underemployed – that is, who occupy jobs that do not correspond to their training – has fallen from 30% to 22 %.

And this improvement in employability is even greater, say the authors of the report, among those who have expanded their studies with a master’s degree (22% of university students in 2022), since 77% of them have a job that is listed in the group of higher graduates, compared to 62% of those who have only completed a degree; and the average contribution base of those with master’s degrees is 11% higher.

The study, which has followed the trajectories of university students belonging to the six cohorts graduated between 2013 and 2018 during the four years after graduating, detects that the employment rates, the adjustment between training and occupation, the salaries for which they contribute, The percentage of full-time and indefinite contracts has been improving from cohort to cohort.

However, the improvement in job placement opportunities varies depending on the studies completed and the sex of the graduate. The activity, employment and unemployment rates of young female graduates are similar to those of their male colleagues, but their presence in highly qualified jobs with higher salaries is not.

Between 2013 and 2023, highly qualified employment for young university students grew by 92% for men and 66% for women. The study also reveals that men earn more than women in 74 of the 92 fields of study for which there is information on the average contribution bases for both.

On the other hand, 82% of the 315,000 highly qualified jobs for university students that were created in that decade are concentrated in five sectors: scientific and technical activities, health activities and social services, information and communications, manufacturing industry and education.

The study also identifies that the studies completed count in the facilities to access the labor market. Graduates in health sciences and engineering and architecture continue to have higher percentages of employment and higher salaries than those in arts and humanities.

The authors of the report believe that these data question pessimistic discourses about the lack of opportunities for university graduates in Spain.