Career tracking system
BÉKSZI’s career tracking system has operated successfully for several years and data is collected annually using a system developed by the school. The system investigates the ex-tent to which the school’s training meets the demands of the labour market and how students make use of the knowledge and skills acquired during training.
The career tracking system is operated by BÉKSZI’s quality management team in partnership with the school’s form teachers. At the end of each academic or school year the form teachers with responsibility for students who are leaving complete a standardised spread sheet. This includes collecting students’ contact details including their telephone numbers and email addresses. At the beginning of the next school year they use this information to collect more detail on each student’s occupation and their qualifications. They also identify how each student’s career is developing and whether they are continuing with their studies. For those who continue to study, information is collected on the level of the course, the name of the qualification and institution etc. If the student isn’t continuing their studies, the information collected shows whether they are in employment or not and whether their employment is related to their qualifications. If a student cannot be contacted, this information is also re-corded.
The data collected by the form teachers is summarised at departmental level and at an insti-tutional level. It is analysed in order for evaluations and comparisons to be made between departments, types of training, vocational sectors and qualifications. The outcomes of this analysis are presented and discussed with all the staff at one of the regular staff meetings.
The role of the n form teacher is crucial. Their willingness to cooperate has a large impact on BÉKSZI’s ability to track former students. In some situations, a positive attitude is not enough. When students take employment abroad, form teachers find it more difficult to contact them and data on employment is often lost. The largest problems arise when the data is inconsistent and conclusions cannot be made from one year to the next because the data is missing or previous surveys used different parameters.
Although the method used for to track students’ careers is simple, it has proved to be very efficient. In 2012 BÉKSZI had information on 82 per cent of the students who completed training in 2011. BÉKSZI has found it very useful to look at the data on employment in different vocational sectors, and across the different vocational qualifications. It is particularly useful for BÉKSZI when planning the number of students to enrol in the next year. It also helps to evaluate the students’ success in the end of course exams. If there are high levels of failure in a profession, the causes will be analysed and changes can be made.
BÉKSZI has found that three months after completing training is an appropriate time for form teachers to contact former students. Waiting longer makes it much more difficult to contact students and collect the relevant data.