Graduate Outcomes 2020/21: 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 2020/21 survey 90% were in some form of work or further study (up from 88% in the survey of 2018/19 graduates). The remaining 10% were either unemployed or doing another activity such as travelling, caring for someone, or retired.
Figure 4 shows:
- The proportion of unemployed UK domiciled graduates decreased between 2019/20 and 2020/21, from 5% to 4% respectively. The proportion of unemployed graduates domiciled outside the UK remained at 8%.
- The proportion of both UK domiciled and non-UK domiciled graduates in full-time employment increased relative to 2019/20 by 4 percentage points and 5 percentage points respectively.
- In 2020/21, the proportion of non-UK domiciled graduates in further study (including employment and further study) decreased by 3 percentage points relative to 2019/20. In the same time period, the proportion of UK domiciled graduates dropped by 1 percentage point.
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 2020/21 graduates, the proportion who were in full-time employment, employment and further study or who were unemployed was higher for males than females, while the proportion of graduates in part-time employment was higher amongst females relative to males.
- The percentage of females going on to full-time employment increased by 3 percentage points between 2019/20 and 2020/21 where for males, this increase was 4 percentage points.
- Across all four years of the survey, 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
- Between the 2019/20 and 2020/21 cohorts, all age groups saw an increase in the proportion of graduates in full-time employment. This increase was greatest amongst those aged 20 and under at 5 percentage points.
- Graduates under the age of 25 saw decreases in the proportion in part-time employment between 2019/20 and 2020/21.
- Between the 2019/20 and 2020/21 cohorts, those aged 20 and under were the only age group who did not see a decrease in the proportion of unemployed graduates.
- In 2020/21, 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 went 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 employment and further study 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 decreased by 2 percentage points from 21% in 2019/20 to 19% in 2020/21.
- Of White graduates domiciled in the UK, 63% were in full-time employment, an increase of 3 percentage points compared with 2019/20. While the proportion of graduates in full-time employment for all ethnicities increased relative to 2019/20, the proportion of White graduates domiciled in the UK who were in full-time employment was greater than the proportion from any other ethnic minority backgrounds.
- In 2020/21, Black graduates domiciled in the UK were more likely to be in part-time employment than any other ethnic group.
- Graduates of Black, Asian, Mixed or Other ethnic backgrounds were more likely to be unemployed than White graduates. However, White graduates were the only ethnic group where the proportion who were unemployed did not decrease relative to 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 more recent years only due to the large amount of data included within them. Data for all applicable years 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 full-time and part-time employment than those from privately funded schools.
- Between 2019/20 and 2020/21, there was a greater increase in the proportion of graduates in full-time employment among those whose parents had not received higher education qualifications relative to graduates whose parents have higher education qualifications.
- The proportion of UK domiciled full-time undergraduates in full-time further study decreased by 2 percentage points between 2019/20 and 2020/21 for both those whose parents has received higher education qualifications and those who had not. Despite this decrease, 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:
- Between the 2019/20 and 2020/21 survey respondents, there was an increase of 3 percentage points in respondents employed in permanent/open-ended contracts, this group accounts for 74% of all respondents in employment in 2020/21. There was also an increase of 4 percentage points in the proportion of first degree graduates on permanent/open-ended contracts between 2019/20 and 2020/21, while the proportion of first degree graduates on a fixed-term contracts has decreased by 4 percentage points within the same time frame.
- Among graduates who studied part-time, a higher proportion (85%) were employed on a permanent/open ended contract than those who had studied full-time (72%). In contrast, a smaller proportion of graduates who studied part-time (9%) were employed on a fixed-term contract than graduates who had studied full-time (15%).
- In 2020/21, 78% of graduates who had studied at other undergraduate level were on a permanent/open ended contract. This proportion is greater than any other level of study. Conversely, these graduates also had the lowest proportion (8%) on a fixed-term contract lasting 12 months or longer relative to all other levels.
- The proportion of graduates on a permanent/open ended contract was lower for those who had studied at a postgraduate (research) level (63%) than it was for any other level. However, the proportion 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:
- A quarter of graduates running their own business at the time of the 2020/21 survey were non-UK domiciled.
- The majority of graduates of undergraduate courses reporting self-employment/freelancing as their most important activity were UK domiciled (90%), whereas 65% of equivalent graduates of postgraduate courses were UK domiciled.
- Less than 10% of graduates who studied part-time and went on to self-employment/freelancing, running their own business or developing a creative, artistic or professional portfolio were non-UK domiciled.
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 the most important activity will depend on your intended use for the statistics.
31 May 2023, 9:30
Children, education and skills
HESA, 95 Promenade, Cheltenham, GL50 1HZ
+44 (0) 1242 388 513 (option 6), [email protected]
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Graduate Outcomes open data repository