The mission of the Careers Service
The Careers Service of UMK was established in order to help students and graduates of UMK to choose their careers and to facilitate finding employment, which corresponds to their qualifications and ambitions.
The Careers Service deals with vocational counselling, collects job, internship, placement and voluntary activities offers as well as collects and provides information about professions, employers and situation on the labour market.
Tasks of the Careers Service
- Vocational counselling – individual meetings of students and graduates with vocational counsellors for the purposes for planning a possible career path.
- Organisation of trainings and workshops improving abilities needed on the labour market, including, among others, arrangement of applications, preparation for recruitment processes, determination of vocational potential and improvement of skills useful on the labour market.
- Job agency services relating to finding jobs, internships and placement within a database of permanent and seasonal job offers, internships and placements, sending personalised job offers to students and graduates registered in the Careers Service and promoting students amid potential emplyers with the use of an e-portfolio.
- Cooperation with employers, including, among others, during annual presentations of companies at UMK: Earlier Recruitment – Milkround ("Wczesna Rekrutacja - Milkround"), Labour and Placement Fairs ("Targi Pracy, Praktyk i Staży") and Career Days ("Dni Kariery").
To whom the Careers Service is adressed to:
- to students and graduates seeking vocational advice and information about the labour market,
- to employers looking for best candidates for placements and vacancies,
- to universities verifying educational structure and programmes owing to the data obtained by the Careers Service.
History of the Careers Service of UMK
The Office of Vocational Promotion of Students and Graduates of UMK in Toruń is the first Polish Careers Service. It was officially opened in October 1993.
The following entities were involved in realisation of the project:
- director of the Careers Service in the University of Hull in Great Britain - John C. Franks (1942-2008) - honorary patron and main consultant of our Office and administrator of training,
- Nicolaus Copernicus University,
- Ministry of Labour and Social Policy,
- National Labour Office,
- Provincial Labour Office in Toruń
- Know-How Fund.
The project has been supported by the Embassy of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and British Council in Warsaw.
The staff was trained in Poland and Great Britain. The Careers Service of UMK provides consultations and trains new employees of the Careers Service.
The Office is a member of OSBK (Polish Network of Careers Services) – in 1998 the Careers Service of UMK participated actively in the project involving establishment of a network of 8 Careers Services in Polish universities.
The Careers Service of UMK participates in international projects connected with development of vocational counselling methods.
Characteristics of the project entitled
„Competencies for the Future”
The project is realised by the Careers Service of UMK from October 2009 until the end of September 2013 under the Operational Programme Human Capital OPHC (Submeasure 4.1.1) and co-financed by the European Union and European Social Fund [ESF].
The superior aim of the project is to enhance and develop a didactic potential of the university. Activities undertaken under the project are aimed at extending the educational offer of faculties of exact sciences by an opportunity to develop “soft” competencies and making the University a more friendly place for disabled students.
The Model of Vocational Competencies was created as part of the project and students of the Faculty of Chemistry, Mathematics and Computer Science, Physics, Astronomy and Applied Computer Science will participate gratuitously in courses and training improving their soft competencies necessary in the labour market.
Competencies are resultants of knowledge, skills and attitudes. Adequately shaped competencies make employees able to realise vocational tasks at required levels.
The Model of Vocational Competencies (MKZ) was created in order to enhance spreading information between the Careers Service of UMK, employers (labour market) and students/graduates. The model made it possible to collect job offers according to a key of competencies in order to ensure better orientation for candidates and employers as regards their mutual needs and requirements, expected skills, attitudes and levels of knowledge..
Characteristics of the project
Research on graduates’ careers
In October 2011 the amended Act on Higher Education entered into force and implemented an obligation to monitor vocational careers of university graduates.
The obligation is performed at Nicolaus Copernicus University by the Careers Service of UMK, which conducts annual Research on careers of UMK graduates. The research is fully financed by the Careers Service of UMK.
The research includes all classes of graduates starting from 2008. The research on students, who graduated in 2008 (graduates of 2007/2008) had a pilot research character. It covered graduates of all university faculties, except for the part of the university located in Bydgoszcz.
The vocational career of graduates is evaluated upon six months, three years and 5 years from passing a graduation examination.
Aims of the research
Aims of the research are as follows:
- Determination of educational and vocational plans of UMK graduates.
- Determination of a situation of graduates in the labour market.
- Collection of information relating to economic and social environment of a graduate, who is looking for a job.
Realisation of the assumed aims will make it possible:
- for authorities of each faculty to obtain detailed information about requirements of the contemporary labour market within the social and economic environment of the university.
- to provide graduates and employees of the Careers Service of UMK with information supporting their choices of vocational careers and the best methods for realisation of vocational targets of UMK graduates.
- Graduate – a person, who graduated from the 1st, 2nd degree studies and/or uniform master’s degree studies.
- Completion of studies is understood as passing a respective examination for a given type of studies (a bachelor’s, engineer’s and master’s degree examination respectively).
- A graduate of a given class – a graduate, who passed a master’s, engineer’s or bachelor’s degree examination in the period between 1 December of the previous year and 30 November of a given year.
- Vocational career – for the purposes of the research on vocational careers on UMK graduates, it has been assumed that a vocational career comprises a series of vocational situations relating to an UMK graduate in the period, in which the research is conducted. The assumed types of vocational situations:
- work – performing of paid activities, except for economic and agricultural activities; this category also includes persons doing internships financed by the labour fund/EFS
- conducting of business activities
- conducting an agricultural farm / a farmer’s household member
- unpaid work (unpaid internship, placement, household work, child care, voluntary activities etc.)
- unemployed person (a person, who does not perform any of the above-mentioned types of activities)
The research population
The research covers graduates of all faculties of Nicolaus Copernicus University.
The research has an exhaustive (complete) character as assumed. However, in practice, the assumption to evaluate the total population of graduates has not been fulfilled, as a great number of students failed to fill in a document of consent to personal data processing for the purposes of the research. As regards the research of the class of 2012, this problem will be solved due to the use of an electronic system of consent to personal data processing.
Data collection methodology
A panel method was used in order to depict dynamic changes in vocational careers of graduates. This assumption establishes a two-stage cycle of research.
The research comprises two stages:
- a survey research – on the date of completion of studies – aimed at determination of educational and vocational plans of graduates
- an online survey research – within 6 months from completion of studies – aimed at determination of a situation of graduates in the labour market
The 1st stage of research used a paper format questionnaire, which was filled in by a student as of presentation of a so-called check-off sheet in the Careers Service of UMK.
In the 2nd stage of research, a CAWI quantitative survey was conducted, which involved electronic sending of a questionnaire to previously obtained e-mail addressees as provided in questionnaires collected in the first stage of the research. The questionnaire is sent to each graduate within 6 months from completion of studies.