Boundaryless career
Educational pathways and
career tracking
How to get (a profession, a job) labor market position?
Primary educationChildren start primary school when they reach school-maturity, usually in the year in
which they have their 6th birthday (7th if they were born after May 31).
Primary education can last for 4, 6 or 8 years. 8-year education is the most widespread; the other two
options were introduced in the early 1990s.
Subjects include literature, grammar, mathematics, music, art, Physical education, environmental
studies (from 1st to 5th grade), biology (from 6th grade), geography (from 6th grade),history (from 5th
grade), history of art, physics (from 6th grade), chemistry (from 7th grade), one or two foreign languages
(usually English, German or French). Before 1990, Russian was compulsory.
Educational pathways and
career tracking
How to get (a profession, a job) labor market position?
Secondary education
Secondary education usually lasts for 4 years. In gimnáziums it can also last for 5, 6 or 8 years depending on how many years the
student spent in primary school. Since 1997 the numbering of years in secondary school are following that of primary school (i. e.
after the 8th grade of primary school the student goes to 9th grade, which is actually the 1st year of secondary school.)
There are three kinds of secondary schools:
Gimnázium (non-vocational; prepares students for higher education; teaches at least 2 foreign languages)
Szakközépiskola (vocational school but also prepares for higher education)
Szakmunkásképző Szakiskola (vocational school)
After finishing secondary school, students take a school-leaving exam (Matura or final exam, érettségi in Hungarian). This consists
from 2005 of exams on five subjects: written exam in mathematics, oral and written exams in literature and grammar, a foreign
language, history, and written and/or oral exam in a subject of the student's choice. These exams also serve as an entry exam to
universities and colleges.
Educational pathways and
career tracking
How to get (a profession, a job) labor market position?
Higher education
Higher education is divided between colleges and universities. College education generally lasted for 4 years, while university
education lasted for 4 to 6 years depending on the course undertaken before the Bologna reform.
Now both institutions are providing 3+2 year programmes. (BA,BsC and MA, MsC)
University PhD courses usually take 3 years to complete.
Before students get their degree, they must pass language exams (2) in the foreign languages of their choice. English and German
are the most popular.
The number of Spanish-learners has been growing in the last few years. Recently a high number of students
chose Esperanto and Romani languages. The latter is said to have a relatively small vocabulary and easy grammar.
Educational pathways in Hungary
‘Internationalistion of higher education is the process of integrating an international/intercultural
dimension into the teaching, research and service functions of the institution. This definition
understands internationalisation as a process, as a response to globalisation….and as including both
international and local elements’.
International education [has] three definite components; content of the programme of study,
international movement of students/scholars, provision of co-operative (transnational programmes in
other countries)⒊ (Harari 1972)
International and global education examines relationships between nation states and foreign nation
states in their own right⒊ (Morey 2000)
Harari 1972 In Internationalisation and Globalisation: An Introduction to the Basics.
Morey, A.I. 2000 Changing Higher Education Curricula for a global and multicultural world. Higher Education in Europe. 25 (1), 25-39.
Boundaryless career
Michael Arthur and his colleagues introduced the concept of the boundaryless career in the 90s
after the corporate restructuring of the 1980s appeared to have dealt a death blow to the notion
of working your way up the career ladder within one organisation (Arthur & Rousseau, 1996). It
seemed that more people would have to get used to the idea of moving from company to
company in order to progress upwards, and that sticking with an individual employer might limit
your progress because of lack of opportunities.
Boundaryless careers, supposedly typical of the new economy, are characterised by multiple
employment situations, wide inter-company networks and multi-employer arenas of choice for
the implementation of their careers. All workers accumulate learning and develop networks,
using these acquisitions to enact their careers on the surrounding environment. ‘As individuals
enact their careers, they enact the environment itself’ (Arthur et al., 1999, p.12).
A later paper (Sullivan & Arthur, 2006) elaborated on the concept of a boundaryless career by
envisaging two dimensions of mobility:
physical mobility — actual movement between jobs, organisations, occupations and
countries, or movements which don’t fit the expected career structures
psychological mobility — the person’s perceptions of career structures and their beliefs
about how much they are constrained by them or can transcend them
Common elements in career stories:
 improvisation: most participants improvised fresh
choices in response to changing circumstances, rather
than implementing pre-determined plans.
 sense-making: participants were found to act, reflect
upon and make sense of their actions with the benefit of
 adaptation: with new experiences, participants were able
to see new patterns in, and make new sense of, their
earlier career behaviour.
 learning: participants learned from their experiences,
maintained this learning and applied it to new situations.
 agency and communion: career stories reflected
‘agency’ (the pursuit of independence and autonomy) or
‘communion’ (the nurturing of relationships and
connectedness). Most career stories contained elements of
central image is one of a wandering troubadour, moving from company to company,
gaining new experiences and skills and then moving on (p.37), compared with the
image of the classical, scripted theatre typical of the industrial age and encapsulated
in traditional career theory
EU key competences
communication in the mother tongue, which is the ability to express and interpret concepts, thoughts, feelings, facts and
opinions in both oral and written form (listening, speaking, reading and writing) and to interact linguistically in an appropriate
and creative way in a full range of societal and cultural contexts;
communication in foreign languages, which involves, in addition to the main skill dimensions of communication in the
mother tongue, mediation and intercultural understanding. The level of proficiency depends on several factors and the
capacity for listening, speaking, reading and writing;
mathematical competence and basic competences in science and technology. Mathematical competence is the ability
to develop and apply mathematical thinking in order to solve a range of problems in everyday situations, with the emphasis
being placed on process, activity and knowledge. Basic competences in science and technology refer to the mastery, use and
application of knowledge and methodologies that explain the natural world. These involve an understanding of the changes
caused by human activity and the responsibility of each individual as a citizen;
digital competence involves the confident and critical use of information society technology (IST) and thus basic skills in
information and communication technology (ICT);
learning to learn is related to learning, the ability to pursue and organise one's own learning, either individually or in
groups, in accordance with one's own needs, and awareness of methods and opportunities;
social and civic competences. Social competence refers to personal, interpersonal and intercultural competence and all
forms of behaviour that equip individuals to participate in an effective and constructive way in social and working life. It is
linked to personal and social well-being. An understanding of codes of conduct and customs in the different environments in
which individuals operate is essential. Civic competence, and particularly knowledge of social and political concepts and
structures (democracy, justice, equality, citizenship and civil rights), equips individuals to engage in active and democratic
sense of initiative and entrepreneurship is the ability to turn ideas into action. It involves creativity, innovation and risktaking, as well as the ability to plan and manage projects in order to achieve objectives. The individual is aware of the
context of his/her work and is able to seize opportunities that arise. It is the foundation for acquiring more specific skills and
knowledge needed by those establishing or contributing to social or commercial activity. This should include awareness of
ethical values and promote good governance;
cultural awareness and expression, which involves appreciation of the importance of the creative expression of ideas,
experiences and emotions in a range of media (music, performing arts, literature and the visual arts).
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