Student Pages

Master’s degree pays off

Students who complete a master's degree find it easier to find work and are more satisfied in their jobs.

Two female students with computers, smiling
MASTER’S PAYS OFF: Surveys show that 83 per cent of those who hold a master’s degree or professional qualification state that they have found relevant work.
Eivind Senneset

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Higher education pays off, especially in tougher economic times. This is the conclusion of the Norwegian study "Fra studier til jobb i Bergensregionen" (from studies to work in the Bergen region) conducted by SiB Karriere SiB Career and Counselling in collaboration with the University of Bergen (UiB), the Norwegian School of Economics and University College Bergen. Students with bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees or professional qualifications from 2014 participated in the study. 674 graduates from UiB completed the study.

Master’s degrees increase your chances of finding relevant work

Around half of those who graduated from UiB with a bachelor’s degree had relevant jobs within two years of graduation.  Of those holding master’s degrees or professional qualifications, 83 and 100 per cent respectively state that they have found relevant work.

- This shows that higher education is a good investment, not least in a more competitive labour market. The labour market is looking for graduates who are capable of independent thinking and who have the ability to gain new knowledge. This is something our master’s graduates excel at, says Oddrun Samdal, Vice-Rector for education at the University of Bergen

Changing labour market

The study found that those who take professional qualifications fare especially well in the labour market.   None of the lawyers surveyed were out of work two years after graduation. At other faculties that offer professional qualifications, such as the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Psychology, graduate jobseekers amounted to 2 and 4 percent respectively.

Not all qualifications provide the same easy access to the labour market. The study found that 13 per cent of those who qualified from the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences are out of work and around one third find that their work is not relevant to their field of study.

- This could be linked to structural changes in the oil and gas industry and a changing trend in expertise requirements. At the same time, we continue to develop new programmes of study that are in high demand. The Civil Engineering programme within aquaculture and seafood is one such example, says Oddrun Samdal, Vice-Rector for education at UiB.

Active students find work

72 per cent of graduates with a humanities or social sciences background state that they have found relevant work. Activities such as part-time work, positions of trust and voluntary work during the study period appear to have had a particularly positive impact for these groups. As a result of this, ten per cent of social sciences graduates and eight per cent of humanities graduates have found work in organisations.

The more active the students were during the study period, the more likely they were to have a relevant job two years after graduating. 36 per cent of the graduates in the study lived in Hordaland prior to starting their studies. Upon completion of their studies, 45 per cent remained in the same area. This means that UiB contributes to retaining expertise within the region.


Contact information
Vice-Rector for education, Oddrun Samdal Tel.  +47 970 70 904
Rector Dag Rune Olsen Tel. +47 930 85 881