Professionalization in third sector: the case of Porto university graduates in Business Administration, Humanities and Social Sciences
Departamento de Sociologia Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto Porto, Portugal
Since the 1970s/80s the exhausted growth models of the Western world and the crisis of the Social State contributed to the surge of a number of both new and reformed organizations within the third sector. In 1997, a study promoted by the European Commission DGV, Pilot Action The Third System, Employment and Local Development, identified Portugal as part of a group of European countries where the third sector was a reality on the rise (CIRIEC, 2000).This communication aims at discussing the characteristics of professionalization within the third sector based on results of an investigation, led by the Instituto de Sociologia da Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto, on the professional uncertainty of Porto's University graduates in Business Administration, Portuguese Literature, Sociology and Psychology, between 1999 and 2004. One of the central issues is to understand if the growth of this sector, in terms of employment volume, corresponds to a qualitative relation between work and employment. At the same time, the question of whether or not the third sector constitutes an alternative and a promising sector for graduates' future inclusion is raised. To answer to this question, and whenever possible, a comparison between third sector's characteristics of professional integration and the public and private sectors will be made.