Idealism alone, however, is not enough: The current graduate tracking shows that BOKU graduates establish themselves quickly and permanently in the job market. And the job prospects are excellent.

The founding of the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna in 1872 was already motivated by a concern for the sustainable management of natural resources. Today, BOKU is one of the most modern life sciences universities in Europe, with competencies that extend far beyond agriculture and forestry. Among its top topics in 2021 were a new COVID therapy using antibodies in nasal sprays, the simultaneous analysis of 1,400 food contaminants in 42 minutes, helping companies convert to e-trucks, or critically weighing the possibilities of ground-mounted photovoltaics.

"Our gradu*ates are expected to answer the pressing questions of the present and the future," emphasizes Principal Eva Schulev-Steindl. "To meet these challenges, a problem-solving approach is practiced at BOKU, integrating firstly natural sciences, secondly engineering sciences, and thirdly economic, social and legal sciences."

In today's most pressing topic, climate change, BOKU graduates have an astonishing range of competencies. They work

  • in climate (impact) research
  • in research and development of climate-relevant topics: e.g. projects for the reduction of methane emissions from biogas plants, development of environmentally friendly logistics solutions
  • for the provision of climate-friendly energy supplies
  • for climate protection through technical, urban planning or landscape planning solutions: e.g. planning of railroad infrastructure projects, reforestation projects in the global south, renaturation of river floodplain systems
  • in the development and implementation of climate impact adaptation strategies and resilience measures: e.g., site-specific recommendations for tree species suitability; greening of buildings
  • in more sustainable agriculture and its marketing/sales
  • in companies as an environmental or sustainability officer
  • in consulting, training, and educational work: e.g. energy efficiency consulting, workshops in schools.

Because of their dedicated attitude, BOKU graduates also experience a high acceptance on the labor market and are well trained for a scientific career. BOKU examines how this is achieved in the project Absolvent*innentracking (ATRACK), in which job entries, labor market careers and salaries of graduates are examined on the basis of register and social security data.

Job market on the rise

BOKU graduates usually enter the job market quickly: Bachelor's and Master's graduates have a job after 2-3 months on average, graduates with a doctorate even at the time of graduation. Unemployment rates are correspondingly low: Three years after graduation, the unemployment rate for bachelor's graduates is 3.5%, and for master's and doctoral graduates it is less than 2%. The proportion of self-employed is high compared to other universities, not only, but especially among graduates of the Department of Agricultural Sciences.

Doctoral graduates find a job particularly quickly, as do master's graduates from the departments of Agricultural Sciences, Agricultural Engineering and Water Management, and Food and Biotechnology.

A higher degree not only makes it easier to find a job, but also to negotiate a salary: the average starting salary ranges from 2,320 euros for bachelor's graduates to 2,700 euros for master's graduates and 3,620 euros for doctoral graduates. On the other hand, of course, the requirements are also increasing: The higher the degree, the higher the competence requirements in the job, the survey of graduates shows.

More than half of the graduates are of the opinion that this so-called 3-pillar education of BOKU (combination of natural sciences, engineering, economics, social sciences and law) has given them advantages on the job market.

More information can be found on BOKUweb at: