Students’ Perception of Education as a Preparation to Enter the Labour Market: A Case Study from a Polish University
Purpose: The aim of the article is to determine the importance of university education in the theoretical and practical dimensions for students-graduates preparing to enter the labour market. Design/Methodology/Approach: The opinions of students - graduates of the Faculty of Economics in Poznan University of Life Sciences - were examined, discussing the obtained results with the information from the system of monitoring the fate of graduates (ELA) and available statistical data related to the topic. Findings: It was found that from the students' point of view, the condition of entering the labour market is both a diploma confirming the resources of acquired theoretical knowledge, and the completion of internships and work placements. During the discussion, it was also found that the surveyed graduates have a more difficult entry into the market than their predecessors, which was caused, among others, by the COVID-19 pandemic and the introduction of lockdown. This has led to an almost complete elimination of students from the labour market, which results in the inability to gain work experience, which strengthens the competitiveness of graduates in this market Practical Implications: The experience gained during the studies related to taking up work, both resulting from the internships carried out in the program of studies, and the individual acquired by students (occasional jobs usually in services) are one of the most important factors determining the effectiveness of graduates entering the market work. Originality/Value: The research results contained in the article fill the cognitive gap regarding the perception of the chances of finding employment by graduates in the changing labour market, emphasizing the role of universities as an active participant in the labour market.