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Graduates' employment

HESA publication Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education 2015/16 released.

The publication reveals further details of the work, study and other activities that graduates were doing about six months after leaving higher education. For those graduates who entered employment, the DLHE survey results show the variety of types of work that recent graduates take up. Breakdowns include the terms of employment and the occupational level of graduates' jobs.

The 2015/16 survey revealed that 74.8% of employed UK and EU domiciled leavers from full-time courses were in 'professional' jobs (those coded 1-3 in the Standard Occupational Classification). 58.7% were employed on a permanent or open-ended contract and 24.3% on fixed-term contracts. 4.7% of graduates were self-employed or freelance and 0.6% had started up their own business within 6 months of graduating. Only among graduates who were working on zero hours contracts (3.3%) or temping (2.4%), were the majority in non-professional jobs. The figures for first degree graduates can be found via the data visualisation below.

The visualisation below shows the breakdown of employed graduates by employment basis and professional employment. Use the filters to see data for different levels of qualification and for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

More survey results are available in the online introduction to the publication, including graphs and Excel tables looking at further study, comparisons by subject of study, and salary information.

Download the data behind the visualisation: HESA_DLHE_employment_2017-07-20.csv

Destinations publication

Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education 2015/16 provides detailed information on the activities of graduates six months after leaving higher education. The 51 tables in the publication (see contents list) include activity and employment breakdowns by:

  • HE provider
  • Level and mode of qualification
  • Sex
  • Age
  • Disability
  • Ethnicity
  • Class of first degree
  • Subject of study
  • Occupation
  • Industry
  • Location of employment
  • Salary.

The free online introduction to the publication includes national level tables and charts covering various aspects of the survey results.

Higher Education Statistics for the UK

More results of the 2015/16 DLHE survey are published online as part of the National Statistics open data publication Higher Education Statistics for the UK 2015/16.

Notes for Editors

  1. Press enquiries should be directed to:
  2. The HESA Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey asks leavers from higher education what they are doing about six months after graduation. Further details about the survey, including the full survey questionnaire, can be found via the DLHE data collection page.
  3. Percentage calculations used in this release exclude leavers whose employment basis or occupational classification was returned as ‘unknown’.
  4. Please see the DLHE Definitions for explanations of the terms used in this press release and information on the coverage of the DLHE survey.
  5. Results of the 2015/16 DLHE survey are also published in the Statistical First Release and the UK Performance Indicators.
  6. HESA cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived from the data by third parties.

About HESA

HESA (the Higher Education Statistics Agency) is the recognised source of data on higher education in the UK. Our experts collect, analyse, and disseminate accurate and comprehensive statistical information on all aspects of UK higher education in order to support the strategic aims of our users and enhance the effectiveness of the sector as a whole. We are a charity and a company limited by guarantee. We operate as an independent organisation, working in close partnership with higher education providers, regulators, funders, government departments, policy makers, and other stakeholders.

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