Tracer study is a standardized survey (in a written or in oral form) to the pupils/students finished their education and it which takes place sometime after graduation or at the very end of the education.
The subjects to this type of study are different, but most often they include questions about:
- The education (for example for skills/study program, the level of education/the certificates that are gained during the process, the competences, the conditions for studding, the institution);
- Transfer towards the employment or further education/training (as methods for searching for work, time spent from the finishing of education until the first employment, conditions for the first employment, further education and training);
- Employing and working few years after the graduation (status of employment, what kind of work contract, work time, occupation, salary, working tasks, occupation/sector, applying of the achieved competencies);
- Personal characteristics (gender, origin of parents, regional and international mobility, education and work before studies/training, life standard).
A large number of European countries have made regular tracer studies on an annual level (in Germany, Italy, Holland, Switzerland, the United Kingdom) or every three to four years (in France (Centre d’étudeset de recherchessur les qualifications, Céreq), Germany (German Centre for researching of high education and science -DZHW) and Italy (ISTAT)).
The research is conducted by the Ministry of Education and Science.
The Macedonian tracer study is based on the corporation among the schools, the high education institutions and the central team for conducting the study. In the past years similar studies have been conducted in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia.
The Macedonian tracer study is oriented towards methodological standards and it’s based on the practical experiences of many countries.The International standards and experiences are very important for the development of the study instrument - the questionnaire of the study.