Career path study in social care

The social care field also faces the problem of shortages of skilled workers. The umbrella organisation for Swiss social care SAVOIRSOCIAL takes targeted action to address these shortages.

Kids paint with child care worker / educator
Adobe Stock/Robert Kneschke

In order to obtain clear information, SAVOIRSOCIAL commissioned SFIVET to conduct surveys on the training, apprenticeship and working conditions as well as on subsequent career progression of social care workers. In particular, the aim was to shed light on the factors that prompt people to enter, remain in and leave the social care field. 


The careers study was broken down into three surveys covering the period running from August 2016 to September 2019: the first was a longitudinal survey of learners undergoing training for the Federal VET Diploma and students enrolled in a training programme at a Swiss college of higher education; the second was a survey of employed social care workers; and the third a survey of individuals who chose to no longer remain in the social care field.

  • Sep 16 – Dec 17
    First wave of longitudinal survey of apprentices in the last year of training for the Federal VET Diploma in Social Care and students in their last year at a Swiss college of higher education
  • Feb 17 – Mai 17
    Cross-sectional survey of social care workers
  • Feb 17 – Jan 18
    Quantitative and qualitative survey of former social care workers
  • Dec 18 – Mar 19
    Second wave of longitudinal survey 1.5 years after graduation for holders of the Federal VET Diploma in Social Care and social care graduates of a Swiss college of higher education

Quantitative descriptive and multivariate analytical methods were used to study training and career progression as well as their influencing factors. In addition, qualitative methods were used to analyse the reasons why individuals chose to leave the social care field. The analyses revealed differences in career motivation, career progression and their determinants in three working contexts: social care for children, social care for the elderly and social care for the disabled. Differences were also observed between language regions.

Practical benefits
The results of the careers study provide information for social care professional organisations, social care firms, professional education institutions, vocational schools and cantonal departments of education and social care. This information enables re-evaluation of existing training programmes and working conditions at social care firms and planning of strategic measures to ensure an adequate supply of skilled social care workers.

Transfer into practice