The study explores vocational school graduates’ satisfaction with their choice of the study field, further employment opportunities and problems that occurred during their studies. The results of study offer possible solutions to mentioned problems, and also ways how to improve the educational achievement as well as studying conditions in the vocational education.

The study revealed that most of the vocational school graduates are satisfied with their decision. While choosing the field of study, the most important determinant is the attractiveness of the subject, but also the reputation of both the school and the field of study. In addition, students value pleasant social environment: fellow students and good teachers, and another positive aspect was also the flexibility of studies. Negative aspects mentioned included for example the simplicity of studies.

“As many interviewees admitted, the composition of students in the school is diverse and for academically talented students the level of studies is too low.” – Mihkel Nestor

The average net wage of the graduates was 646 euros which is almost as much as country’s average. However, men with vocational education earn significantly more than women with vocational education. Even when explanatory variables like region of residence, sector where person was employed, age etc. were taken into account the male vocational school graduates’ net wage was still 32% higher.

The results of this study draw attention to questions of rationality of some study fields in the vocational schools.

To improve educational achievement in vocational education, the following activities are proposed:

  • additional attention should be paid to very talented students;
  • reducing the creation of study fields that are only meant either for women or men;
  • analysing more specifically the perspectives of vocational education specialities in the labour market;
  • considering the state’s aim to utilise the resources of vocational education more efficiently, e.g. restrictions for getting two same level vocational degrees consequtively while studying free of charge.