In Hungary educational attainment is a significant factor in determining labour market opportunities. Education is a good investment, however, employment options and wages depend on the choice of university and the field of training: the starting salaries for fresh graduates vary widely according to the institution of graduate higher education.
In Hungary educational attainment is a significant factor in determining employment opportunities, a fact also confirmed by the ‘Hungary 2019’ report of the Hungarian Central Statistical Office (KSH): in 2019 the employment rate of individuals with primary level education remained unchanged year-on-year (39.4%), while it increased considerably for people with secondary (74.8%), and moderately for people with tertiary (85.2%) level education.
At the same time, the university itself and the field of training are further influencing factors. This is supported by a study carried out by Corvinus University of Budapest using Graduate Career Tracking System (DPR) data, which found that a Corvinus graduate with a degree in economics is likely to earn a total of net 340 million forints throughout his/her entire career, 110 million forints more than the national average for economics graduates.
The information on average gross salary and labour market situation for former university students can be freely accessed in the DPR Integration of Administrative Databases (AAE). Essentially, the individual data stored in the Higher Education Information System are matched against the factual data available in other systems of public administration (e.g. National Tax and Customs Administration, National Institute for Health Insurance Fund Management, Ministry of Innovation and Technology, Diákhitel Központ Zrt.) anonymously. In average terms, former students with a bachelor’s degree in economics received in the academic year 2017-2018 earn a monthly gross 356,766 forints, and they managed to find employment in 1.39 months.
Based on the DPR AAE database those who graduated in 2011-2012 earned on average gross HUF 515,714 per month in 2019, compared to an average monthly salary of gross HUF 738,088 earned by former Corvinus students.
It means that seven years later a former bachelor’s student of economics graduating from Corvinus University earned gross 220,000 forints, i.e. approximately net 145,000 forints more than the average received in this category, explained Tamara Huber, adding that the trend was similar in the field of social sciences. Looking at the data of former students graduating in the academic year 2011-2012 they earned gross 403,823 forints per month in 2019, while Corvinus graduates earned much more, gross 623,284 forints per month on average.
Consequently, the students and their parents should definitely check the DPR AAE database and consider the available information as well as the future potentials before choosing a university and applying for further education.