First Steps into the  Labour Market 2017


First Steps into the Labour Market 2017

Central European survey of students and graduates

About the report

First Steps into the Labour Market is an international survey focusing on the labour market as seen through the eyes of students and recent graduates from 14 countries across Central Europe.

The report, scheduled for publication in spring of 2018, will summarize respondents' values and attitudes towards concepts of 'career' and 'work' as well as their perception of the universities they attend. We invite you to take part!

First Steps into the Labour Market

Win an iPad!

Are you a student in your last 2-3 years of studies or have you graduated within last 2 years from a bachelor's or a master's programme? 

Take part in our survey and share your opinionfor a chance to win an iPad!

Results from the previous edition

Leadership & Competencies

Respondents said that true leaders should be charismatic and inspirational strategic thinkers with great interpersonal skills. 75% of respondents rated their own competencies as better than those of other people. The most highly rated competencies included the ability to learn effectively, logical thinking and teamwork. Few respondents attributed their capabilities to what they learned at university – just 16% believed they were prepared well for the world of work.

First Steps into the Labour Market 2017

Importance of work

Work/life balance is important: having a happy family life and good health were both ranked well ahead of professional success – just 30% of respondents said that their lives revolved around work. However, 87% saw work as key to developing human potential and social and financial advancement. 87% said they would choose to work even if they didn’t have to do so for money.

First Steps into the Labour Market 2017

Salaries and other Rewards

The most attractive employers for the great majority of respondents were those offering the opportunity to acquire and develop new skills – this was substantially ahead of an attractive salary, which was in second place ahead of a good atmosphere at work. Respondents from the countries with the lowest average salaries were also the keenest to earn substantially more than average.

First Steps into the Labour Market 2017

Celebrating Differences

Female respondents said they are better organised, more communicative and more teamwork-oriented than their male counterparts. More people aiming to become managers than subject experts believed that with hard work they could outperform others. Students with entrepreneurial ambitions were significantly less satisfied than others with the quality of their preparation for the world of work.

First Steps into the Labour Market 2017


In 2015, we surveyed 2,426 students and recent graduates. Read about our findings.