The 2017 BURS Shows Graduates are More Successful at the Labor Market


The new issue of the Bulgarian University Ranking System ( shows a consistent trend of improvement of the employment prospects for university graduates, but at the same time confirms the huge gap between the average rates of income, unemployment and application of the university education received depending on the professional field and university.

According to data of the 2017 Ranking System the share of the registered unemployed among graduates of Bulgarian universities in the last 5 years has dropped to 2.91% from 3.38% last year and from over 4% in 2013. The share of the graduates who don’t pay their social security in the country has gone down to 21.5% from over 23% last year and approximately 25% in 2015. At the same time the share of the employed university graduates who in the first 5 years after their graduation had jobs requiring university education has increased to 48.56% from 47.34% in the previous year. The average insurable earnings of the graduates has also increased, reaching up to BGN 1075 compared to BGN 1020 in the previous year and levels under BGN 900 in 2013.

The lowest unemployment rate (under 1%) and the highest applicability of the university education received (over 90%) remain among graduates in Medicine, Pharmacy, Stomatology and Military Science. An unemployment rate of over 4% is registered in 3 professional fields only – Religion and Theology, Social Work and Materials and Materials Sciences. By comparison a year earlier an unemployment rate of over 4% was registered among the graduates of 10 professional fields. Those who graduated in Tourism remain the ones with the lowest applicability of their university education (19.29%).

The ten professional fields with the highest average income are: Informatics and Computer Science; Mathematics; Communication and Computer Technology; Public Health; Research, Extraction and Development of Ores and Minerals; Metallurgy; Military Science; Pharmacy; Medicine; and Electrical Engineering, Electronics and Automation. Graduates in Informatics and Computer Science of Sofia University and in Administration and Management of the American University distinguish themselves with an average taxable income per month of over BGN 3000.

Those with the highest average results of the high school diploma are the first year university students in Medicine (5.57), Pharmacy (5.51) and Stomatology (5.46). Those with the lowest results from their high school education are the students admitted in Animal Breeding (4.29), Materials and Materials Science (4.40) and Research, Extraction and Development of Ores and Minerals (4.40).

Sofia University, Medical University – Sofia and the University of Chemical Technology and Metallurgy are the three educational establishments in Bulgaria with the highest citation index in terms of their scientific publications.

Data of the Ranking System show that the number of the university students in 2017 has decreased with over 10% in comparison with 2013. The biggest drop in the number of students is in the professional fields Economics and Administration and Management. At the same time there is a considerable increase in the number of the students in the professional fields Medicine and Health Care.

The Ranking System compares the performance of 51 universities within 52 professional fields based on dozens of indicators measuring various aspects of the teaching and learning process, science and research, teaching and learning environment, welfare and administrative services, prestige and regional importance of the universities, as well as graduate’s career outcomes at the labor market. To develop the indicators of the predefined rankings of the 2017 Ranking System, information from various sources is used, including the universities, National Evaluation and Accreditation Agency, AdminUni module of the educational information system, National Social Security Institute, as well as the international bibliographical databases Scopus and Web of Science.

The Ranking System allows its users to both view the predefined rankings of the universities by professional fields and make their own custom rankings with a view to their individual interests and preferences, using the indicators and functionalities available within the system.

According to the predefined rankings in 2017 Sofia University was the leader in 23 professional fields, Technical University – Sofia was first in 6 professional fields, Medical University – Sofia headed 4 professional fields. Both the Agricultural University in Plovdiv and the University of Chemical Technology and Metallurgy in Sofia held three first places, and the University of Forestry in Sofia and the American University in Blagoevgrad had two first places each. Other 12 universities took the lead in one professional field each. Nine rankings were headed by universities outside the capital.

On the website of the Ranking System ( users may find information about the most common professions and positions among graduates in different professional fields of various universities in Bulgaria, as well as a list of the majors they offer.

The Ranking System aims to assist university applicants in their efforts to make an informed choice and to orient themselves in the diversity of opportunities offered by the Bulgarian universities.

The University Ranking System is accessible in Bulgarian and English at:

The 2017 issue of the Bulgarian University Ranking System is updated at the request of the Ministry of Education by OSI-S consortium of Open Society InstituteSofia and Sirma Solutions in execution of contract with subject: Updating and Maintaining the Bulgarian University Ranking System for 2017.