Graduate Outcomes 2019/20: Summary Statistics - Graduate activities and characteristics
- Graduate activities and characteristics
- Activities by previous study characteristics
- Graduate salaries and work locations
- Graduate reflections on activities
What were the activities of graduates?
Of graduates who responded to the 2019/20 survey 89% were in some form of work or further study (up from 88% in the survey of 2018/19 graduates). The remaining 11% were unemployed or doing another activity such as travelling, caring for someone, or retired.
Figure 4 shows:
- The percentage of unemployed graduates (including those due to start work or study) was down one percentage point in the survey of 2019/20 graduates at 6% compared with 7% in the 2018/19 survey. Most 2018/19 and 2019/20 graduates were surveyed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- During a similar time period, a decrease in unemployment within the general UK population was also reported within labour market overview statistics published by the ONS. An overall unemployment rate of 4.3% was reported for the third quarter of 2021, down 0.5 percentage points on the same quarter of the previous year.
- The percentage of undergraduates who were unemployed (including those due to start work or study) has decreased by two percentage points from 8% in 2018/19 to 6% in 2019/20. An opposite trend was seen in the percentage of postgraduates who were unemployed (including those due to start work or study) which increased by one percentage point from 4% in 2018/19 to 5% in 2019/20.
- The proportion of graduates in full-time employment who obtained doctorate research, first degree or foundation degree qualifications increased between the 2018/19 and 2019/20 cohort, while the proportion of graduates in full-time employment who obtained masters taught, other postgraduate research and undergraduate unknown qualifications decreased between the 2018/19 and 2019/20 cohorts.
- In 2019/20, the proportion of graduates that were unemployed was higher amongst non-UK domiciled graduates relative to UK domiciled graduates.
Given that we are reporting on a subset of graduates from the total target population in this survey (i.e. those who responded to the survey – the sample), we cannot be completely certain that any statistics we create from that sample are exactly the same as the statistics we could have created if every single graduate in our target population had responded. A confidence interval gives us a statistical way to indicate a range of values within which we can be reasonably confident the ‘true’ (i.e. total population) value would fall. For Graduate Outcomes data, 95% confidence intervals are used which means that there is a 95% chance that the interval calculated from the sample covers the true value. The width of the confidence interval gives some idea about how precise an estimated value is: the wider the range from the stated percentage, the less the precision. More information on confidence intervals and survey weighting is available in the methodology statement.
The census point of the survey is at 15 months after graduation which means that many graduates may have undertaken other qualifications such as Master’s degrees during this period. At the point of the survey some may only just be completing those further qualifications. The interim study filter allows you to include or exclude graduates who are likely to have spent most of the 15 month period in full-time study from tables and charts. Whether you choose to include or exclude these graduates will depend on your intended use for the statistics. For example, if you are assessing the rates of unemployment of graduates it may not be fair to compare graduates who are likely to have spent most of the 15 months in the labour market with those who have only recently entered the labour market. In this example it may be more sensible to exclude graduates who have spent most of the 15 months in full-time study.
Figure 5 shows:
Sex of graduates
- Among 2019/20 graduates, the proportion who were in full-time employment and employment and further study was higher for males than females, while the proportion of graduates in part-time employment was higher amongst females relative to males.
- Between 2018/19 and 2019/20, the proportion of male, female and other graduates who were unemployed (including those due to start work or study) decreased. This decrease was greater in females and other graduates than in males.
- Across all three cohorts, a higher proportion of female graduates who previously studied part-time were in part-time employment than female graduates who studied full-time. This trend is reversed among male graduates.
Age of graduates
- Graduates aged between 25 and 29 were the only age group where the proportion in full-time employment did not increase between 2018/19 and 2019/20.
- Between the 2018/19 and 2019/20 cohorts there has been a drop in the proportion of unemployed graduates aged 25 and under, while the proportion of unemployed graduates aged 25-29 years has increased within the same time frame.
- In 2019/20, the proportion of graduates in full-time further study was greatest amongst those aged 20 and under and lowest in those aged over 30.
The HESA student record includes date of birth information collected from HE providers. Graduate Outcomes survey results are linked to the HESA Student record. Age is then calculated for graduates at 31 July of the reporting period (the end of the academic year in which the graduate gained their relevant qualification).
Graduate disability status
- A lower proportion of graduates with a known disability go on to full-time employment than those with no known disability. Graduates with a known disability were more likely to be in part-time employment or voluntary work than graduates with no known disability.
- A larger proportion of graduates with a known disability were in further study (including employment and further study) relative to graduates with no known disability.
- The proportion of graduates with a known disability in further study (including employment and further study) has increased by 1 percentage point from 20% in 2018/19 to 21% in 2019/20, while proportion of graduates with a known disability who were unemployed has dropped by 1 percentage point from 7% in 2018/19 to 6% in 2019/20.
- Of White graduates domiciled in the UK, 60% were in full-time employment. This is greater than the proportion of UK domiciled graduates who were in full-time employment from all other ethnic minority backgrounds.
- Graduates of Black, Asian, Mixed or Other ethnic backgrounds were more likely to be unemployed than White graduates. However, the proportional difference in unemployment between White graduates and those from Asian, Mixed and Other ethnic backgrounds has decreased between 2018/19 and 2019/20.
The HESA student record includes ethnicity information collected from HE providers (see ethnicity definition).
Graduate Outcomes survey results are linked to the HESA Student record. Ethnicity data in the HESA Student record is only collected for UK domicile students. To view ethnicity data in Figure 5 use the domicile filter to select 'All UK' or one of the UK nations.
Some tables and charts within this release contain data from 2018/19 and 2019/20 only due to the large amount of data included within them. Data for 2017/18 can be found in the corresponding CSV files.
Figure 6 shows:
- UK domiciled graduates from full-time undergraduate courses were more likely to be in full-time further study if they had attended a privately funded school than if they had attended a state-funded school or college.
- A higher proportion of graduates from state-funded schools or colleges went on to part-time employment than those from privately funded schools.
- Between the 2018/19 and 2019/20 surveys there was a greater increase in the proportion of graduates in full-time employment among those whose parents have higher education qualifications relative to graduates whose parents had not received higher education qualifications.
- Those whose parents have higher education qualifications were more likely to go on to full-time further study than those whose parents had not received higher education qualifications.
- Among graduates domiciled from England and Wales, those from low participation neighbourhoods were more likely to go on to part-time employment than those from other neighbourhoods.
Low participation neighbourhood information comes from the participation of local areas (POLAR) classification, which is maintained by the Office for Students.
Index of multiple deprivation (IMD) uses data pertaining to the domicile of graduates. When a country of domicile is selected in the filter below IMD data for other countries will be hidden. The various indices of multiple deprivation use similar methodologies, but differ in the indicators used, the time periods included and the sizes of the areas they cover. These factors mean that IMD is not comparable between UK administrations.
Figure 7 shows:
- The proportion of graduates on a permanent/open ended contract has dropped by 2 percentage points from 73% in the 2018/19 cohort to 71% in the 2019/20 cohort. This drop is largely driven by a decrease in the number of graduates who were on a permanent/open ended contract who obtained an undergraduate qualification.
- Between the 2018/19 and 2019/20 cohorts there has been a decrease in the proportion of first degree graduates on open-ended/permanent contracts and an increase in the proportion of first degree graduates on a fixed term contract lasting less than 12 months within the same time frame.
- Among graduates who studied part-time, a higher proportion were employed on a permanent/open ended contract than those who studied full-time.
- The proportion of graduates on a permanent/open ended contract was lower for those who had studied at a postgraduate (research) level than it was for any other level. However, the proportion of postgraduates (research) on a fixed-term contract lasting 12 months or longer was over twice as high as all other levels of qualification.
The 'work type marker' allows you to filter the data by the type of work the graduate reported as being their most important activity.
Figure 8 shows:
- Of those running their own business at the time of the 2019/20 survey, 38% were non-UK domiciled graduates. When restricting the work population to those who stated a most important activity of running their own business, this figure increases further to 43%.
- Among graduates of masters taught courses, more than half of those reporting running their own business as their most important activity were domiciled from outside of the EU.
- The majority of graduates who studied part time and went on to develop a creative, artistic or professional portfolio were UK domiciled (90%).
The ‘work population marker’ allows you to view data either based on all graduates who report one or more work-based activities, or alternatively to focus on those graduates who state that one of these activities is their most important activity. Whether you choose to use data for graduates where work is an activity or focus on just those where work is a most important activity will depend on your intended use for the statistics.
16 June 2022, 9:30
Children, education and skills
HESA, 95 Promenade, Cheltenham, GL50 1HZ
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Graduate Outcomes open data repository