The aim of the article is to introduce the factors determining the careers of undergraduates of first-cycle full-time studies from the area of Podkarpackie Province based on panel survey. The analysis shows that careers are shaped multistage and the core factor is the type of university and the determinants of its choice, the economic situation of students’ families among the others. The more difficult the situation is the higher probability of starting work, it is less likely then to start work and studies, and the least likely to start only studying. What is more, it appears that undergraduate careers are determined not only by the fact whether the university is state or private, but also by the character of the school (PWSZ - The State School of Higher Professional Education, non-PWSZ). Although setting up a network of universities in Podkarpackie Province resulted in easier access to higher education, even for those from poor families, economical factors still differentiate the opportunities of continuing education on second-cycle studies. Thus economic barrier in access to education has not been completely removed, it has just been moved one level up. On the other hand though, one can notice that for some students the choice of university is determined by the ease of obtaining the diploma, which in turn is rewarded by the system of education with a higher possibility of continuing education. Therefore it is a functional factor, both on the individual and structural level (allows a great number of universities to operate).