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Career progression of 2004/05 graduates

The HESA Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Institutions Longitudinal Survey Report is published today. The survey, undertaken by IFF Research, was based on a sample of leavers who gained HE qualifications in 2004/05. Responses were obtained from 41,395 leavers. The survey asked what they were doing three and a half years later on 24 November 2008.

The full report is available to download in PDF format from the HESA publications website.

88.9% of 2004/05 graduates were in employment three and a half years later

The survey showed that 76.1% of respondents were in full-time paid employment, up from 60.8% when first surveyed six months after graduation. 2.6% of 2004/05 graduates were assumed to be unemployed three and a half years after graduation, compared to 5.6% after six months. 88.9% of respondents were in some kind of employment (including part-time employment and those combining work and further study).

Destinations of Leavers by Activity on 24 Nov 2008

Median salaries greater after three years

The median salary of UK domicile full-time first degree leavers from 2004/05 who were in full-time paid employment in the UK on 24 November 2008 was £24,000 pa., compared to £17,000 pa. after six months.

86.9% of respondents satisfied with their careers to date

The survey also asked leavers about their satisfaction with their careers to date. Most leavers (86.9%) were satisfied with their career to date with 47.6% saying they were fairly satisfied and 39.3% saying they were very satisfied.

Overall satisfaction with career to date

The full report on the second Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Institutions Longitudinal Survey contains a full analysis of the employment and study circumstances of 2004/05 graduates including type and location of employment and salary levels. The report also covers the additional qualifications gained by 2004/05 graduates, the different activities they were engaged in since graduation, and their satisfaction with their careers and courses.

The report is available as a free download in PDF format from the HESA publication pages here

Detailed statistical tables of results are also available to purchase from the same website.

Notes for editors

  1. Press enquiries should be directed to:
    • Simon Kemp
    • HESA Press Officer
    • 01242 211120
    • [email protected]
    • 95 Promenade, Cheltenham, GL50 1HZ.
  2. The Survey was commissioned by the following higher education funding bodies:
    • Higher Education Funding Council for England
    • Scottish Funding Council
    • Higher Education Funding Council for Wales
    • Department for Employment and Learning (Northern Ireland)
    • Training and Development Agency for Schools
    • Research Councils UK.
  3. The Survey was carried out during winter 2008/09 by IFF Research on behalf of the funding bodies above.

    Jan Shury, joint managing director of IFF Research, comments:  "This insight is invaluable for students, higher education institutions and employers alike. Given the current economic climate, this news of the long term outcomes of higher education will no doubt be of interest to those that have recently graduated.  Ultimately, this analysis of career trajectories will also benefit students of the future as the impact of higher education choices becomes more clearly understood".

  4. The Survey was completed by 41,395 leavers who had previously completed the Destinations of Leavers survey six months after graduating. The six month survey was completed by 319,260 leavers out of 430,290 eligible qualifiers from the 2004/05 cohort.
  5. HESA (Higher Education Statistics Agency) is the UK's central source for the collection and dissemination of statistics about Higher Education.
  6. HESA cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived from the data by third parties.


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Press Officer