Skip to main content

Chart 4 - Graduates in UK work by main reason for taking the job and skill group

HE Graduate Outcomes Data

Chart 4 - Graduates in UK work by main reason for taking the job and skill group

Academic year 2017/18



Note HESA has identified that just over 150,000 graduate responses to the 'main reason for undertaking their job or activity' questions were previously inadvertently excluded from the chart ‘Graduates in UK work by main reason for taking the job and skill group (OC4)’ where the graduate had only selected one option from the multiple choice ‘Why did you decide to undertake your work or activity?’. Chart 4 was updated on 4 September 2020 to ensure maximum coverage of this data.

The main reason for taking a job role questions are optional. For both questions, we have excluded any graduates that did not answer.

Please note that this chart is restricted to graduates with known SOC code. For a list of SOC codes see our page Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) groups.

Type of data

Survey data

Data source

HESA (Higher Education Statistics Agency) is part of Jisc. We are the experts in UK higher education data and analysis. We have been collecting higher education information since the 1994/95 academic year.

We collect data on the activities of graduates from higher education via the Graduate Outcomes survey, an annual survey that asks about activities 15 months after graduation. Characteristics of graduates who achieved higher education qualifications from Higher Education providers in the UK and Further Education colleges in Wales are taken from the HESA Student record and alternative provider student record data collections.

Characteristics of graduates at Further Education colleges (FECs) in England are taken from data provided by the OfS from the Individualised Learner Record. Characteristics of graduates at FECs in Northern Ireland are taken from data provided by DfE(NI) from the Consolidated Data Return (CDR).

We provide data and analysis on graduates to a wide variety of customers, including:

  • Governments
  • Universities (via the Heidi Plus analytics tool)
  • Academic and commercial researchers
  • Students and potential students
  • Trade unions and employers' associations
  • Policy makers.

Our data is used to regulate the sector, inform policy making, advance understanding of social and economic trends, support decision making, and enhance public understanding of - and confidence in - the higher education sector.

Rounding and suppression strategy

We implement a rounding and suppression strategy in published and released tabulations designed to prevent the disclosure of personal information about any individual. This strategy involves rounding all numbers to the nearest multiple of 5 and suppressing percentages and averages based on small populations.

Related releases

We publish annual and ad-hoc statistical bulletins about graduates.

Our HE Graduate Outcomes Open Data pages collect together all of the tables we publish on graduates.

Further information

open-data   Open data licence: CC-BY-4.0