Employment Characteristics of New Graduates in the Hungarian Agricultural Sector

Dajnoki, Krisztina – Kun, András István

Keywords: employment, agricultural sector, human resources, graduate career tracking, I23, J21, J24, Q10

Revealing connections between higher education and the labour market is always topical and is constantly in the focus of economic research. Owing to the expansion of the Hungarian higher education sector during the 1990s, together with the changes induced by the Bologna Process from 2006, a mass of new graduates appears on the labour market each year. In many cases they graduate from newly-introduced courses, programmes yet mostly unknown or unfamiliar to employers. To find employment, graduates frequently had to abandon their original career plans and consider any available occupation even if it is incongruent to their education. The competition among career entrants enhanced by changes in the environment, globalisation and accelerated business life has increased the value of abilities and skills.
The main objective of our paper is to conduct a kind of agricultural involvement study that is based on new graduates – irrespective of their area of education – who are employed in the agricultural sector and are present in the year 2014 survey database of the Hungarian Graduate Career Tracking System. Thus, we focus on those who are hired by employers within the agricultural sector and not on those who are graduated with an agricultural degree. Our aims are to reveal the characteristics of newly-graduated employees in the agricultural segment of the labour market (gender ratio, geographical mobility, education); to find out what types of organisations (size, ownership structure) employ these types of job seekers and in what kind of jobs (job content, status). Congruence between education and employment is also tested.
Our main results show that among new graduates employed in the agricultural sector the share of males is higher and the geographical mobility is lower (especially in the case of those graduated below Masters level) compared to the combined sum of the industry and services sectors. Only 58% of our sample subjects have an agricultural qualification. Fitting into the lifelong learning concept, the dominant share of the sample has more than one higher education degree; and it is also notable that an substantial proportion of them graduated at a lower or at the same level second (or third etc.) time compared to their first degree. Most of the respondents in the survey have found occupation in domestically owned small or medium enterprises; 38% of them hold some kind of managerial position, while 14% are working in non-graduate jobs.