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72.7% of full-time HE leavers enter employment

Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education 2002/03

Of the 248,005 full-time leavers who completed HESA’s Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey, 72.7 per cent had found employment. The number of leavers who were both working and continuing to study was 60,060 or 24.2 per cent (this figure is included within employment). 15,295 (6.2 per cent) were assumed to be unemployed.

The data is published in the Higher Education Statistics Agency’s latest publication Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education, 2002/03, released today. Data in the publication is based on the new DLHE survey. DLHE is different to the former First Destinations Supplement (FDS) in that it allows leavers to report more than one activity. For example, a leaver can be working full-time but also continuing to study. This means that a matrix of outcomes is possible, making comparison to previous data collections difficult.

When looking at the percentages of full-time first degree leavers entering employment, rates traditionally tend to vary by subject area due to their individual characteristics. Medicine & dentistry (91.8 per cent), Subjects allied to medicine (85.6 per cent) and Education (85.1 per cent) were the three subjects with the highest employment rates. Historical & philosophical studies (61.9 per cent), Physical sciences (58.9 per cent) and Law (45.9 per cent) showed the lowest employment rates. However, these employment rates should not be considered in isolation. First degree leavers in a subject such as Law for example, will often undertake further study towards professional qualification. Law (53.8 per cent), Mathematical sciences (35.1 per cent) and Physical sciences (32.2 per cent) were the three subjects recording the highest percentages of leavers progressing to further study. Education (12.7 per cent), Medicine & dentistry (11.8 per cent) and Mass communications & documentation (11.6 per cent) recorded the lowest percentages progressing to further study.

Computer science showed the highest percentage of leavers assumed to be unemployed (12.5 per cent) followed by Engineering and technology (10.5 per cent) and Creative arts and design (10.3 per cent). Medicine and dentistry leavers were least likely to be unemployed at 0.2 per cent.

Using the Standard Occupational Classification HESA also looked at the jobs that UK domiciled leavers enter. The majority of female full-time first degree leavers entered Associate professional and technical occupations (20,320) followed by Professional occupations (17,420). Most males entered Professional occupations (14,270) and Associate professional and technical occupations (12,620).

For UK domiciled, first degree leavers who studied full-time, the industrial category employing the largest number of Managers and senior officials (2,630) was ‘Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles and personal and household goods’. This data uses the Standard Industrial Classification of the leavers’ employer against occupation type. The Education sector employed the most leavers in Professional occupations (9,755) and Health and social work employed the most in Associate professional and technical occupations (9,305).

The table below shows the distribution, by £5,000 bands, of salaries reported by qualifiers from first degree programmes who entered or continued in full-time UK employment.

UK domiciled leavers who obtained first degree qualifications and entered or continued in full-time UK employment by salary band, mode of study and gender 2002/03.
    Salary band    
    less than
£5,000
£5,000-
£9,999
£10,000-
£14,999
£15,000-
£19,999
£20,000-
£24,999
£25,000-
£29,999
£30,000-
£34,999
£35,000-
£39,999
£40,000+ Total Median
salary
                         
Full-time 110 2245 17715 19070 7080 1975 1115 425 135 49870 £16,000
  Female 65 1485 11320 12505 3515 915 575 175 40 30595 £16,000
  Male 45 760 6395 6565 3570 1060 535 245 95 19275 £16,000
                         
Part-time 5 70 690 1565 1825 1585 815 320 420 7295 £23,000
  Female 5 50 465 1030 1140 915 340 95 85 4125 £21,000
  Male 0 15 225 535 685 670 475 225 335 3170 £25,000
                         
Female total 70 1535 11785 13535 4650 1830 915 270 125 34720 £16,000
Male total 45 775 6615 7100 4255 1735 1015 470 430 22445 £17,000
                         
Total 120 2310 18405 20635 8905 3565 1930 740 555 57165 £17,000

In this table 0, 1, 2 are rounded to 0. All other numbers are rounded up or down to the nearest 5.

The median salary is rounded to the nearest thousand.

Notes for Editors

  1. Leavers reported salaries to the nearest £1,000 in the survey. 48.4 per cent of leavers disclosed their salary.
  2. Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education 2002/03 is available from the Customer Services Team, HESA Services Ltd., 95 Promenade, Cheltenham, GL50 1HZ; telephone: 01242 211155. This year this product has been produced as a CD-ROM containing a wide range of data in a series of detailed tables. The CD-ROM is also accompanied by a printed reference volume containing summary tables of the CD-ROM data. The product is available to the public from HESA Customer Services, telephone 01242 211155 for more information.
  3. HESA cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived from the data by third parties.
  4. Press enquiries should be directed to Press Officer at HESA, 95 Promenade, Cheltenham, GL50 1HZ; telephone 01242 211133.

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