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International day of happiness: Career satisfaction

Statistics Topical statistics Destinations of Leavers Graduates Courses

3.5 years after graduation in the winter of 2012/13, the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) Longitudinal survey contacted a cohort of students who completed a higher education course at a UK HE provider in 2008/09. One of the questions in the survey asked leavers 'how satisfied or dissatisfied are you with your career to date?' Here is what the respondents had to say...

DLHE Longitudinal survey 2008/09: Given what you have told us so far, how satisfied or dissatisfied are you with your career to date?

Career satisfaction to date, HESA Longitudinal survey 2008/09 cohort
% Satisfied 83.5%
% Not satisfied 15.5%
% Don't know 1.0%
% Total 100.0%

Subjects

The majority of subjects had 80% or more leavers who were satisfied with their career to date. Leavers who had studied Medicine & dentistry had the highest career satisfaction over any other subject.

DLHE Longitudinal survey, 2008/09: Percentage of students satisfied with their career to date, by top 5 subjects

Career satisfaction to date, HESA Longitudinal survey 2008/09 cohort
Subject % Satisfied % Not satisfied % Don't know % Total
Medicine & dentistry 94.0% 5.6% 0.4% 100.0%
Subjects allied to medicine 90.3% 8.9% 0.8% 100.0%
Biological sciences 81.1% 17.8% 1.1% 100.0%
Veterinary science 88.8% 10.1% 1.0% 100.0%
Agriculture & related subjects 85.0% 13.5% 1.5% 100.0%
Physical sciences 81.6% 17.3% 1.0% 100.0%
Mathematical sciences 86.9% 12.4% 0.7% 100.0%
Computer science 80.8% 18.4% 0.8% 100.0%
Engineering & technology 87.5% 11.8% 0.8% 100.0%
Architecture, building & planning 82.5% 15.9% 1.6% 100.0%
Social studies 83.4% 15.7% 1.0% 100.0%
Law 81.0% 18.4% 0.6% 100.0%
Business & administrative studies 83.5% 15.6% 0.8% 100.0%
Mass communications & documentation 72.7% 25.9% 1.4% 100.0%
Languages 80.0% 19.0% 1.0% 100.0%
Historical & philosophical studies 76.5% 22.1% 1.4% 100.0%
Creative arts & design 76.5% 22.5% 1.0% 100.0%
Education 88.6% 10.3% 1.1% 100.0%
Combined 82.2% 16.7% 1.1% 100.0%

Level of qualification

Leavers with a postgraduate qualification were more satisfied with their career to date than leavers with an undergraduate qualification.

DLHE Longitudinal survey, 2008/09: Percentage of students satisfied with their career to date by level of qualification

Career satisfaction to date, HESA Longitudinal survey 2008/09 cohort
Qualification obtained % Satisfied % Not satisfied % Don't know % Total
Undergraduate 82.3% 16.8% 1.0% 100.0%
Postgraduate 88.1% 10.9% 1.0% 100.0%

The DLHE Longitudinal survey for the 2010/11 cohort of leavers has taken place over the winter of 2014/15. The findings will be released in August 2015.

DLHE Longitudinal Survey 2008/09 Introduction

Definitions for Student statistics

Definitions for DLHE Longitudinal statistics

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