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Is it worth for bachelor graduates to diversify study programme for master level?

Gábor Balogh (Department of Leadership and Organizational Sciences, Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Pecs, Pecs, Hungary)
Norbert Sipos (Department of Leadership and Organizational Sciences, Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Pecs, Pecs, Hungary)

International Journal of Educational Management

ISSN: 0951-354X

Article publication date: 24 June 2020

Issue publication date: 22 September 2020




The purpose of this paper is to add supplement to the theory of human capital with a less researched aspect: diversification possibilities of the professional profile. Our empirical analysis tested the research question, whether there is a significant difference between diversificational and specialist career strategies in the BA-MA transition based on labour market data on salaries and time of getting employment.


Present study analyses data from the Graduate Career Tracking System from 2011 to 2015 and the Integrated Administrative Databases from 2017. Graduates of master's courses were divided and compared in three groups: generalists, specialists and field changers. To evaluate career strategies the measurement of success was based on salaries and the time taken to get jobs.


The analysis showed that there are visible differences between the results of the three groups regarding factors of employment, so at the time of reaching the absolutorium a lower rate of major subject changers are employed, while field changers get jobs significantly faster. Based on net salaries we could not reveal a difference between major subject retainers and changers, while field changers earn significantly more.

Practical implications

Specialists (major subject retainers) have jobs that match with their degree and specialty outstandingly, field changers have notably weaker matches, while major subject changers differ only minimally. Considering this it may be due to distorted perception that specialists think the least that their master's studies are essential for the proper execution of their jobs.


In the literature review we found a research gap: Although there is a large number of excellent works analysing the effects of education on wages (salary curve) and career, but only a few of them investigates the impact of the professional portfolio (diversification or specialisation). The novelty of our research is that we developed a new methodology to test this question on example of the Hungarian students of business and economics focused.



The research was supported by the Higher Education Institutional Excellence program. (contract number: 20765–3/2018/FEKUTSTRAT)” Present document was prepared using the Graduate Career Tracking System Graduates of 2011–2015 (DPR – Frissdiplomások 2011–2015) by the Office of Education, and the Graduate Career Tracking System 2017 (DPR_diplomas_palyakovetes_2017: Diplomás pályakövetés) provided by NISZ PLC (the data collection contains graduates of 2012/2013 and 2014/2015). The focus group survey was conducted in the EFOP 3.6.3.-VEKOP-16–2017–00007 project, with the professional direction of Dr. Zsolt Nemeskéri and Dr. Ákos Jarjabka. The objective of the project was to assess the master's course preferences of undergraduate students and doctoral study attitudes of master's students. Calculations and conclusions in the document are entirely the intellectual property of the authors, Gábor Balogh and Norbert Sipos.


Balogh, G. and Sipos, N. (2020), "Is it worth for bachelor graduates to diversify study programme for master level?", International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 34 No. 9, pp. 1387-1401.



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