Tag Archives: DLHE

Moving through history

The development of the Teaching Excellence Framework and the way that it will use measure of graduate employment as a metric to judge institutions makes it all the more important that we get a real grip on how the graduate labour market works.

Graduate migration – see my most recent piece for the latest data – is a phenomenon that has subtle but profound effects on the way we can and should think about graduate employment.

To help understand the migration groups, here is a graphic developed by my excellent colleague Ellen Logan.

migration patterns

Let’s revisit this year’s migration patterns.

leavers etc
Employment groups for UK domiciled graduates from 2013/14

It is now a slightly alarming 11 years since I first conducted an analysis of this kind, so let’s have a look at the data from graduates from 2002/3.

2003 migration patterns
Employment groups for graduates from 2002/3

There are some differences – most notably, Loyals have increased for all regions except London (and, interestingly, Northern Ireland), Incomers are also up in most places, and Stayers are down, quite a bit, in some places (especially Scotland).

But the basic patterns have not moved in over a decade. We may find that, in the future, regions retain slightly fewer people who moved to the area to study, but more people will not move far to study or work but these patterns are what graduates do to find work, and we can assume that this will continue. .

This shows that graduates are not as mobile as a lot of thinking has them and that many can’t or won’t move far or to locations that they do not have a connection with for work. There are practical implications – most graduates who go to work in London, for example, are either originally from the region or studied there. And the same effect is intensified for every labour market outside London.

If you’re a recruiter, this ought to make you think about how you source your talent. If you recruit in Leeds, your new recruits will largely have lived or studied nearby. If you a London-based recruiter with a diversity agenda, even if you see yourself as attracting talent from all over the country, in reality many of those attracted to your offer will have existing ties to the capital, with  implications for your ability to recruit BME graduates and graduates from less affluent backgrounds.

If we are to have metrics based on salary, therefore, we have to understand that they are at least to some degree a measure of where an institution is sited and where they draw their graduates from.

Much has been made of the IFS finding that a group of institutions have graduates who earn under the national average for all workers; anyone familiar with the graduate labour market can probably have a good stab at the identities of those institutions, predominantly universities in less affluent parts of the country, serving labour markets with low wages. We should not allow a situation to develop where institutions with a valuable function in developing local economies feel incentives to send their talented graduates outside those economies to ensure metrics are met.

For institutions, it makes it clear that you will need to be absolutely on point about your local labour markets and to understand where your student cohort comes from. There’s a lot more to understand about how and why graduates move to find work, and what this means for the UK. Is it right to think of the ‘UK graduate labour market’ at all as anything but an abstract, or is it really a series of overlapping markets with their own character and needs? And, crucially, how do we ensure that a framework develops that does not effectively penalise universities for not being near London? We have work to do.




DLHE and graduate demand

I’m speaking at the AGR on Monday about skills shortages. Come and see me if you can. Whilst polishing the presentation, including some of the new DLHE data, I had the idea of comparing labour force data with DLHE outcomes to see how quickly the economy is creating jobs and how that relates to graduate numbers. Using Annual Population Survey data to the end of 2014, here are two very interesting graphs. Occupational Change 2007-2014 This first examines occupational change in the UK between 2007 – just before the recession – to the end of last year, when recovery was ongoing. Occupational classes 1 to 3 are ‘professional level’, jobs now largely done by graduates. In that time, the economy added well over a million new graduate jobs (so this doesn’t take into account replacement demand at all) whilst losing jobs from most non-graduate employment categories. During a terrible recession. Anyway, hold that thought. Here’s what happened last year, during 2014. occ change 2013-2014

A much healthier picture across the economy (which puts the previous graph into context – even though we added nearly 100,000 skilled trade jobs last year, we’re still over 89,000 jobs down on pre-recession), but the key thing is that bottom three rows. Last year, the UK economy added a touch under 310,000 new graduate-level jobs (although not all of them will have been filled by new graduates, of course). DLHE tells us that around 205,000 first degree graduates, both full-time and part-time, entered the UK jobs market last year. In fact, if you add together everyone who got any kind of HE qualification at all, it came to just over 279,000 graduates known to be new workplace entrants in the UK.

Although this does not include all graduates, as not all reply to DLHE, and the true number of entrants to the workplace from HE will have been higher, many of those entrants didn’t go into graduate level employment. If the economy continues to add skilled jobs at this rate, then issues of graduate skills shortage – already serious in a number of areas – could become more and more pressing. It certainly doesn’t suggest an obvious oversupply of graduates. Interesting times may be ahead.

Which industries are most likely to demand a 2:1 or better?

70% of graduates from 2012/13 who took a degree with a classification got a 2:1 or above, and 76% who were employed in a professional-level job after six months, had got a 2:1 or above. That 2:1 is pretty important.

I have taken a look at the industries that employ the largest and smallest proportions of 2:1s and above, only looking at degrees with the usual classification system, as otherwise health looks weird.

Publishing was the hardest industry to get into without a 2:1 – 86.6% of new entrants had at least a 2:1, and that rises to 93.8% for book publishing. Those who got in without a 2:1 tended to be in journalism or marketing roles, to have got their jobs through personal contacts or agencies, and to be from areas of the country with a high level of HE participation. This is probably worth bearing in mind the next time we hear media commentators telling us about standards; their industry is a very atypical one (and far more London-focused than almost the whole rest of the economy).

Law and accountancy are the next toughest, with 86.2% with 2:1 or above. Accountancy is harder than law – 90% with 2:1 vs 79% with 2:1. Small businesses were more likely to recruit 2:2 or below, mostly as paralegals in law, or as accountants or accounts managers in accountancy, and personal contacts were paramount to get into both industries without 2:1 (although agencies were also important in law).

The third in the list is the ‘other vehicle’ – ie aerospace and defence vehicle – manufacturing industry. 86.1% of new entrants had 2:1 or above. This is quite a small industry for annual recruitment of graduates, and the main roles are in engineering, where skills shortages mean that engineers with 2:2 or below sometimes get jobs in the sector, often through personal contacts.

Best get a 2:1 if you want to get in these. Better still, a First
Industries most likely to demand a 2:1 from new graduate entrants from 2012/13

At the other end of the scale is the residential care industry, where 61% of new professional entrants had a 2:1. 50.4% of new entrants to residential care nursing had 2:1 or above, rising to 63.4% to roles specifically in the care of the elderly and disabled. Many of these jobs are in nursing or general welfare roles, and are filled through agencies and the data suggests there are recruitment shortages, especially in London, but it also looks as if some jobs that are being coded as graduate and being taken by graduates may not really require a degree.

64% of new entrants at graduate level to the food and beverage service industry had a 2:1 or above – much the most common roles here are as pub or restaurant managers, where a 2:1 is useful but not vital, and a similar story is in the sports and leisure industry where 65% of new entrants had 2:1 or above, and the crucial subsector is in sports and leisure centre management, where a 2:1 is not absolutely vital.

Industries least likely to ask for a 2:1 for new graduate entrants from 2012/13
Industries least likely to ask for a 2:1 for new graduate entrants from 2012/13

It is possible to get into a professional job without a 2:1, but you might need to be realistic about your target industries and to work whatever contacts you have available to stand a decent chance of getting in. This may ease as skills shortages really begin to bite, but it’s always best to assume you have a fight on your hands and to prepare for it.

On Goodhart’s Law

Goodhart’s Law is most simply stated as: “When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.” It was developed by the economist Charles Goodhart (now Emeritus Professor at the LSE), initially as a critique of economic policy.

A similar principle is Campbell’s Law: “The more any quantitative social indicator is used for social decision-making, the more subject it will be to corruption pressures and the more apt it will be to distort and corrupt the social processes it is intended to monitor.”

Continue reading On Goodhart’s Law

Model Data – Classics degrees

We don’t cover Classic degrees in What Do Graduates Do? because there aren’t enough of them at the moment. So let’s look at some stats.

1,150 first degrees in Classic awarded to UK students by UK universities in 2012/13
1,150 first degrees in Classic awarded to UK students by UK universities in 2012/13

24.5% of Classic graduates were from the South East. Most common part of the country for Classic graduates from 2012/13 to have hailed from – Kent.

60.4% of Classic graduates from 2012/13 were in work after six months
60.4% of Classic graduates from 2012/13 were in work after six months

24.3% of UK-domiciled Classics graduates were in further study six months after graduation.

Most common professional level jobs for Classic graduates were (in order) - Marketing executives - Financial analysts - Education roles (not in teaching) - Personnel/HR officers - Secondary school teachers - Journalists or periodical editors.
Most common professional level jobs for Classic graduates were (in order) – Marketing executives – Financial analysts – Education roles (not in teaching) – Personnel/HR officers – Secondary school teachers – Journalists or periodical editors.

General business professionals should be at number 4 in that list, but we often don’t get a lot of information about what they’re actually doing so I’ve left them out. Journalism is the next most common job. But, in the end, Classics graduates actually went into a very wide range of roles – largely in business, education and creative industries – and 35% were working in London after six months.

New data for graduates

lego stats header 2014
Basic graduate stats through the unclichéd medium of Lego.

Just a quick note to say that one of the things I’m trying to do here is to allow readers to quickly get very basic data on graduates, and so whenever you come to this site, you’ll always see recent figures about graduates up on the top left of the blog.

The exact data might change from time to time, but it’s always going to be basic figures, and it’ll be up to date.

Employability versus Recruitability.

I was on the plenary panel for the QAA’s Annual Peer Reviewer’s Conference in Leeds this week, and was struck by one of the many interesting remarks made by a fellow guest, Nalayini Thamber, the Director of the Careers and Employability Service at Nottingham University.

Nalayini’s point was the potential tension between ‘employability’ and ‘recruitability’. Continue reading Employability versus Recruitability.