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HESA to publish comparison between occupational coding versions in Graduate Outcomes

The latest version of the ONS Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) will be used to provide updated statistics for the 2017/18 Graduate Outcomes survey on 20 May 2021. 

The SOC coding system is used to classify the jobs held by graduates who respond to the survey. This provides consistent and comparable data on occupation types for publication in HESA’s Official Statistics and open data releases. SOC major groups are used to define ‘highly skilled jobs' which is of key interest to a wide range of data users.

The SOC classification is updated by ONS every 10 years, with the latest version, SOC 2020, being released in 2020. HESA will use SOC 2020 for 2018/19 Graduate Outcomes which surveyed graduates between December 2019 and September 2020. The data collected from this group of graduates will be published in July 2021. 

Statistics from the survey of 2017/18 graduates, published in June 2020 used the former SOC 2010 classification. The updates made to the SOC system for 2020 include some notable changes, with some occupations moving between major groups in the classification. HESA recognises that there is likely to be significant interest among users in the effect of these changes on the representation of job types in Graduate Outcomes publications. 

HESA will therefore publish an ad-hoc statistical release on Thursday 20 May 2021 which will provide users with statistical comparisons between the 2010 and 2020 editions of SOC. This will cover graduates from the 2017/18 academic year whose Graduate Outcomes data was published last year. HESA has coded the job information collected in the 2017/18 survey using the SOC 2020 classification to provide a direct comparison between SOC 2010 and SOC 2020 versions. This ad-hoc statistical release will include new versions of the relevant tables published last year, allowing users to switch between SOC 2010 and SOC 2020. It will also include a commentary explaining the most pertinent changes between the two coding versions for graduate occupations. 

Graduate Outcomes SOC2020 update: UK, 2017/18 will be published at 09:30 on 20 May 2021.

Further questions on this forthcoming release should be addressed to [email protected].


Press Officer