Where Do 2023 ICEF Bachelor’s Graduates Work and Study?
Employment rates for ICEF alumni in 2023 remain consistently high. Just a month after graduating from the International Bachelor’s Programme in Economics and Finance, 93% of graduates confirmed to the ICEF Career Centre that they had received job offers or decided to continue their studies in Russia and abroad in master’s and PhD programmes. Viktoria Pralich, Head of the Career Centre, talks about the employment and continued education of this year’s alumni.
As one ICEF graduate of 2023 said in the annual survey, which records how the knowledge and skills acquired by ICEF alumni match the realities of the labour market, ‘There are a lot of offers in the labour market, and we aren’t worried about a lack of work. It’s important for us to do everything in time and not miss out on the best offers.’ This is exactly what the ICEF Career Centre works with, helping students find and apply for vacancies from top employers in a timely manner. And, of course, it is worth noting that the salaries of ICEF graduates with a financial specialisation have increased by 15% this year, which is higher than those of other specialists in this field, and also confirms the stable demand for such professionals.
This year, 153 people graduated from an ICEF bachelor’s programme, of which 47% successfully found employment in leading Russian and foreign companies, 28% continued their studies at foreign universities, and 25% continue their studies in Russian master’s programmes (97% study at HSE University, of which 39% at ICEF).
This year, the majority of offers come from the financial sector (42%, which is slightly higher than last year’s figure), as well as from the real sector and IT (25% versus 14% last year). We see increased competition to hire our graduates at leading Russian banks—VTB, Sberbank, Raiffeisenbank (Russian division), and Alfa-Bank. Moscow Credit Bank, Rosbank, and the Bank of Russia have joined this ‘rivalry’. It is very important that leading practicing economists, such as Philipp Gabunia, Deputy Governor of the Bank of Russia and Board Member of the Bank of Russia, Alexander Zayonts, co-owner of Hoff, and Alexander Shokhin, President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs and HSE University President, share their experience with ICEF students and graduates.
Over the past two years, ICEF alumni have increasingly begun to choose to continue their studies at universities not only in Russia, Europe, and the USA, but also in other regions such as Asia and Australia. This year, the number of offers received from foreign universities alone already exceeds 110, which is 20% more than last year’s totals. We congratulate our alumni on their admission to Yale (PhD), MIT, Oxford, LSE, and the best business schools and universities in Europe, the UAE, and China. The most popular areas in which students will continue their education include financial analysis, quantitative methods in finance, business analytics, and data science.
Thirty alumni, as usual, continue their studies at Russian universities, not only in master’s programmes, but also in doctoral school. Almost all of them (98%) decided to continue their studies at HSE University, where a number of international master’s programmes have been formed in recent years. This year, the ICEF Master’s programme enrolled 11 ICEF alumni from 2023 and three ICEF alumni from previous years into their first year.
With the unique experience of past years’ graduates who have successfully transitioned to teaching or research work at ICEF, the class of 2023 also participates in the ICEF research programme by working in the Laboratory of Financial Economics. Here we are witnessing the formation of a good tradition, when each graduating class ‘donates’ young and talented researchers and teachers to its faculty.
We always try to talk about the professional paths of our alumni who successfully build their careers both in Russia and abroad, both in business and in the academic and university environment. To us, this is clear evidence that the programme guarantees graduates’ competitiveness almost anywhere in the world. Moreover, after studying and gaining work experience outside the country, our graduates return and usefully apply their acquired knowledge and experience in Russia. ‘I always understood that I would not be in London forever. I wanted to gain meaningful international experience and knowledge and apply it in my homeland,’ says a 2012 bachelor’s graduate who became Chief Financial Officer in one of Russia’s largest companies after working as Executive Director in the London office of Goldman Sachs.
Now, the total number of ICEF graduates has reached about 2,800 people—people who are successfully building their careers in various fields in more than 40 countries. This is a testament to the competitiveness and international level of education received in Moscow, at HSE University, and at ICEF.
I am sure the education that ICEF provides is a kind of challenge for those who are not afraid to leave their comfort zone in their usual lives and aim to join the community of future successful professionals.
At the end of 2023, HSE University launched its International Mentoring Programme, where international alumni help current students adapt to the new environment, develop their personal skills, set goals, and make clear plans for job search and career growth. The HSE News Service spoke to participants about why the programme is interesting to mentors, what it can offer mentees, how it is it different from other career guidance initiatives, and more.
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