Higher Education Careers Services Unit

Member Article

Postgraduate degrees increase chance of getting work and professional roles

Postgraduates are more likely to find employment and work in a professional role, and less likely to be unemployed than first degree graduates, according to new research by the Higher Education Careers Services Unit (HECSU).

What do graduates do?1 reveals the destinations of 242,285 first degree graduates and 81,650 postgraduates in January 2013 - six months after they had left university. This year’s report features unprecedented data on postgraduate destinations.

Almost one in five first degree graduates go on to further study with 13% enrolling in further study and 6% opting to work and study. Those who go on to postgraduate education are more successful in the labour market than their first degree counterparts:

Employed - 86% (69,845) postgraduates, 74% (178,450) first degree graduates Unemployed - 5% (4,055) postgraduates, 8.5% (20,675) first degree graduates Employed in professional or managerial jobs in the UK – 91% (61,045) postgraduates, 65% (112,375) first degree graduates

Rising tuition fees and funding continue to be the biggest challenges facing students considering further education. The research showed that 55% of students self-fund further study while 22% receive a grant or award. Of those working and studying, 54% are self-funded and 23% had some support from their employer.

The most common jobs that postgraduates go into are: education professionals (34%), health professionals (10%) and legal, social and welfare professionals (8%).

Charlie Ball, deputy director of research at HECSU said: “The annual graduate destination survey has much-improved data on further study and postgraduates this year so we can take a closer look at these areas in What do graduates do?. It shows that further study isn’t just a tactic to delay getting a job, but a destination that has positive employment outcomes with many choosing to study career related subjects.

“While the figures help those considering further study to make more informed choices, they should tread with some caution. There are not obvious career paths for many postgraduate degrees, the landscape is complex and career trajectories vary hugely by subject, so it’s vital to seek good advice and talk to careers services before making a decision.

“The current youth unemployment rate is 21.4%2, compared with 8.5% of first degree graduates, so whatever level of degree you have you are in a stronger position to secure work.”

What do graduates do? can be downloaded at www.hecsu.ac.uk

HECSU’s commercial enterprise, Graduate Prospects has extended the deadline to enter the inaugural Prospects Postgraduate Awards. Universities, employers and students now have until 20 September 2013 to enter at www.postgraduateawards.co.uk

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Higher Education Careers Services Unit .

Explore these topics

Enjoy the read? Get Bdaily delivered.

Sign up to receive our popular morning National email for free.

* Occasional offers & updates from selected Bdaily partners

Our Partners

Top Ten Most Read