This paper focuses on the potentiality of the sequence analysis as a tool to study and better understand the university students’ career paths. Compared to the cross-sectional studies, the sequence analysis allows not only a more correct approach to the phenomena of the dispersion within tertiary education, but also an immediate return of the results. Also, through its features, sequence analysis helps the marketability of these results for comparative and/or evaluation purposes. The holistic view lets administrative information into diachronic sociological data. This work shows the suitability of the sequence analysis tools for studying the complexity of the Italian higher education students’ careers, also analysing a case study: the Sapienza University of Rome first time enrolled in AY 2001/2002.
Keywords: Sequence Analysis; Students' Careers; Attrition; Retention; Longitudinal Studies; Drop Out.