This project is designed as a longitudinal study of a generation (cohort panel); its main objectives are to search, analyze and understand the key factors affecting young people in transitional moments of their biography – the choice of school, work, and new life strategies. The study is carried out in three-year cycles. This scheme allows us to monitor changes in the selected groups for many years. The first measurement was performed in 2009 - we surveyed secondary school nine-graders and last year students of tertiary educational institutions. In the second phase (in 3 years), schoolchildren become students, enter the labor market, students become young professionals. This way we track the fate of those who work, continue education, change occupation etc. In 2010, we survey freshman students of Moscow universities.
The main theoretic and methodological solutions of the offered monitoring system are:
1. Educational and employment trajectories are considered as mutually complementing and directly related forms of cumulative social experience rather than in the “investment-dividend” categories. Educational and employment trajectories are elements of life trajectories.
2. In the proposed model, the labor market and education system are recursively related. In particular, it means that there is no principal difference between educational and employment trajectories by definition – as individualization proceeds, trajectories of graduates often migrate between the areas of education and professional activity.
3. The main purpose of the first phase of the project is creating and testing the means of identification and analysis of trajectories of secondary and tertiary education graduates, and identifying the interrelation between the trajectory and context factors. In this case, context factors are defined as socio-economic, demographic, political and other conditions that affect the choice of a graduate’s trajectory, and formation of typical trajectories for a certain territorial or institutional system.
4. It is necessary to organize the factors that determine the choice and modification of educational and employment trajectories, composing a hierarchy of contexts – from family to socio-economic. These contexts are hereinafter referred to as micro- and macro-contexts of individual trajectory realization.
5. Monitoring tools are heterogeneous in principle; this includes the tools of psychological, sociological and economic analysis. In compliance with the conceptual model, the proposed tool structure includes three blocks of instruments: qualitatively sociological, survey and psychological.