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Don't believe everything you read in the papers: Geography probably won't leave you unemployed

An article circulated in several local newspapers on Monday 16 May 2016 claimed to show the "top 20 least employable degrees". The article claims that HESA is the source of this list and has since been copied and shared widely.

HESA has never published a list of “least employable degrees”.

The article appears to have been copied from an older item from 2014 which also cited HESA but gave no references or useful sources. The list does not even include any actual figures, merely a list of subjects. Intriguingly the names of subjects in the article are not those used by HESA. For example, there is no JACS code for 'Geography' - although there are separate codes for Physical geographical sciences (F8) and Human & social geography (L7). Both of these geography subjects had a lower than average proportion of 2013/14 leavers in unemployment six months after graduation.

The results of the 2013/14 Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey were published in June and July last year. These included a table of graduates' activities by subject area which you can download here. But for those seeking more detail we have prepared a similar table showing the principal subject breakdown here:

Percentage of UK domiciled full-time first degree leavers by principal subject and activity 2013/14

First results of the DLHE survey for 2014/15 graduates will be published on 30 June 2016. In the meantime, if you're thinking about what to study at university, please do check the sources of anything you read.

The official website for comparing UK higher education course data is Unistats which includes course level employment statistics.


Press Officer