Myth and reality about jobs and university in ItalyMarco Goegan
1) Everybody has got a degree today
False. In the academic year 1988/1989 freshmen in Italian universities were 276,249 . For twenty-five years this has been the lowest figure ever recorded, before last year’s: 267,076 freshmen. In the last three years the number of 1st year university attendants went down, on average by 10,000 new members a year. Considering that high-school graduates in the previous year were 491,000, it means that less than half of them enrolled in university. The CUN (National University Council) explains that it’s as if a university as large as the University of Milan had disappeared. In absolute terms, 21.7% graduate from high school (35.8% EU average) while 15% graduate from university (EU average 28%).
2 ) Italians dislike scientific subjects
False. In the current academic year there has been a 46% contraction of students of social subjects (Social, Economics and Communication) and 33% of students of humanistic subjects, while the sciences ( engineering , maths, physics , statistics) have lost only 3% of new members. Take for example the University of Milan and compare the growing numbers of year 2011/2012 new members at the Faculty of Science and Technology: 1471, 1880, 1972.
3) There are too many graduates
False. According to statistics (and the European Union) there aren’t: with 21% of graduates among the population between 25 and 34 years of age, in 2011 Italy was second to last in this category, beating only Turkey. In addition, the data suggests that 46.7% of employees has a secondary school education and 33.2 % only attended middle school.
4) Graduates are unemployed too
False. The latest data shows that in the age range 25-64, middle-school graduates are employed in 50.8 % of cases, while holders of a degree in 79%. In the middle are high school graduates , at 71.9 %.
5) Graduates get little salaries
This one too is false. In 2010, the average hourly wage for employees in companies and institutions that counted at least ten employees amounted to EUR 16.2 (16.7 for men , 15.3 for women) . Employees with university degrees or higher receive an hourly wage more than double that of employees with a title of primary education : 26.2 against 11.6 EUR .
A graduate is also more likely to get a higher level qualification, and this also affects wages: higher qualifications carry an average annual salary of 75,151, while the lowest at 16,924.
6) Women study more than men
Well, that’s true! 18.4 % of women has a university degree, compared to 10.9 % of men. 26.3% of women completes their university studies before the age of 34, compared to 17.2 % of men.