CAREER CHOICES AMONG PHYSIOTHERAPY GRADUATES FROM MEDICAL UNIVERSITY OF WARSAW
Introduction and objective
The amended Higher Education Act, mandatory for all Polish university-level schools since 1st October 2011, introduces an obligation to analyse the career development of graduates as part of procedures aiming to assess the quality of education (Art. 13a). The objective of this study was to analyse the career development of those graduating from Bachelor-level and Master-level programmes in Physiotherapy using a profiled electronic survey.
Material and methods
A total of 132 persons (students of 26 university-level schools) responded to an on-line survey profiled especially for the specific degree programme. Women accounted for 79% of the study group and men represented 21%. The average age of respondents was 25 years (range: 21-39; SD=3.9). Forty-six per cent of participants graduated from Bachelor-level programmes (AI) and 54% completed Master-level studies (AII). Statistical analysis was carried out with STATISTICA 9.0 (licensed to WMU) and based on the Mann-Whitney U test (p<0.05).
Thirty-five per cent of graduates started to search for employment immediately after obtaining the diploma (p=NS). Twenty per cent of the respondents looked for a job for less than one month; most used the Internet for that purpose (p=NS). Most participants worked in kinesiotherapy (p=NS). The largest proportion of AI and AII found employment thanks to the help of family members. Over 40% of the respondents would like study towards obtaining a specialisation in physiotherapy, while more than 25% were not aware of such a possibility. Twenty per cent of AI and thirty-three per cent of AII used the services of a Career Office. A majority considered working abroad but only a small group was familiar with the conditions of undertaking employment in other countries.
1. Research on career development among graduates of Physiotherapy degree programmes based on profiled, targeted on-line questionnaires sent directly to graduates seems to represent a good method of studying their career paths.
2. It is necessary to supplement the research on career development among graduates of Bachelor-level and Master-level programmes with a survey among their potential employers.
3. It seems necessary to make available wider information about undertaking employment abroad by physiotherapists as well as to intensify and promote the activity of university-based Career Offices.
4. As informal relations play an important role in the process of finding jobs among physiotherapists, it is advisable to encourage employers to use job competitions more widely in order to eliminate such practices.
5. The study results represent a starting point for wider, extended and prospective multi-centre research.