Press release №2135


  • Russians say that the most important thing while studying is to get high scores and to become a professional (62%)
  • 55% consider that getting a job is extremely hard for university graduates

According to Russians, the most important thing to do for a student is to become a professional.

MOSCOW, January 25, 2019. Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) presents the data of a study devoted to what Russians consider important for a student and why young people strive to get higher education.

The mission of any student, according to Russians, is to study well and become a professional (62%); the share of the 18-24-year-olds who think so is 70%. The percentage of those who think that searching for a job and establishing contact with potential employers during studies are essential has increased from 35% in 2013 to 42% in 2019. The next important thing for any student is to acquire skills of behaving like adults (29%). The least important things are participation in different student activities and self-actualization (14%), search for friends and potential spouse (11%), and nice pastime (4%).

Opinions of holders of higher education diplomas and those who did not go to university do not always coincide. Individuals with a degree in higher education are more likely to consider good studies as the key mission of any student (67% vs 37% among those with incomplete secondary education). The higher the Russians’ education level is, the more important it is for them to start searching for a job during studies (28% of those with lower levels of education vs 44% of those with higher education diplomas) and to be independent (20% vs 33, respectively).

Over a decade, the share of those who think it is quite hard for a university graduate to find a job has increased by 5 p.p. (from 50% in 2009 to 55% in 2019). Every fifth respondent (20%) believes it is hardly possible for a fresh diploma graduate to find a job. A further 18% think that it is possible but it takes great efforts. Only 3% are confident that a university graduate can find a job easily.

Russians aged 60 and over are more likely to consider that finding a job after university is almost impossible (24%). Russians with a vocational college diploma often say that finding a job after college is possible but it takes efforts (61%). Students themselves are confident that job search after their studies will not take great efforts (36%).

Russians with low financial self-assessment are more pessimistic about employment opportunities after university. Respondents with low and average financial self-assessments more often say that university graduates can find a job with great effort (57%, for each, vs 42% of those who have high financial self-assessment). The higher the Russians’ financial self-assessment is, the more confident they are that graduates can relatively easily find a job after university (from 8% of those with “bad” and “very bad” self-assessments to 33% of those with “good” and “very good” financial self-assessments). On the contrary, the lower the level of the financial self-assessment is, the more the respondents are confident that it is almost impossible for a graduate to find a job (15% of Russians with high financial self-assessments vs 30% of those with low self-assessments).

VCIOM-Sputnik survey was conducted on January 21, 2019. The survey involved 1,600 Russians aged 18 and over. The survey was telephone-based and was carried out using stratified dual-frame random sample based on a complete list of landline and mobile phone numbers operating in Russia. The data were weighted according to selection probability and social and demographic characteristics. The margin of error at a 95% confidence level does not exceed 2.2%. In addition to sampling error, minor changes in question wording and different circumstances arising during the fieldwork can introduce bias into the survey.

The 2009-2013 findings are based on household surveys.


In your opinion, what is the most important thing to do while studying at the university? (closed-ended question, up to 2 answers, % of total respondents)
  2010 2013 2019
To study as good as possible, to become a professional in your area 59 61 62
To find your future job, to establish contact with potential employers 34 35 42
To learn to be independent, to acquire skills of behaving like adult, to learn to be responsible for yourself 25 25 29
To be active, to take part in student activities, to strive for self-actualization 16 17 14
To  socialize with peers, to find a potential spouse, to start a family 9 12 11
To be engaged in various leisure activities to have something to remember after university    6 6 4
Other   0 0 3
Don’t know 4 5 3


In your opinion, how hard is it for the graduates to find a job after university? (closed-ended question, one answer, % of total respondents)
  2009 2019
It is quite easy 2 3
It takes some efforts to find a job 12 18
It takes great efforts to find a job 50 55
It is almost impossible to find a job 24 20
Don’t know 12 4

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