What might the future hold for students five years on from their graduation?

Five years after graduation, 79 per cent of 2008/09 female graduates were in further study, sustained employment or both compared to 76 per cent of men.

With the relatively high costs of going to university, students are not only under immense pressure to choose the right institution but also more importantly, pursue a course which best reflects their future career desires. Despite this evident urgency, a lot of student’s are in the position of not knowing what to study.

Whilst the future implication of a decision made by a perspective student can never truly be accurately predicted, it is possible to indicate where a certain path may take someone. A recent report released by the government’s Department for Education did just that for future students.

Rebootonline.com analysed the report by Gov.uk to reveal the most interesting and insightful outcomes of the 2008/09 graduates five years on from their graduation. Overall, more females (79 per cent) were in further study, sustained employment or both, five years after graduation. In contrast, only 76 per cent of men were in the same position.

Despite women’ superiority in the job market and post-graduate education, women on average earned £3,000 less than their male counterparts based on a median salary, five years after graduation.

When focusing specifically on subjects – biological sciences was the discipline which had the highest percentage (81.1 per cent) of graduates in further study, sustained employment or both, five years after graduation.

Education came second (80.9 per cent) and mathematical sciences third (80.7 per cent). With 71.5 per cent, creative arts and design graduates were the least likely to least in further study, sustained employment or both, five years on from graduating.

Those who studied medicine and dentistry had the highest median earnings five years after graduation at £46,500, followed by Economics (£37,500) and then Veterinary Science (£36,500).

Creative arts and design students had the lowest median earnings at £20,000, five years after graduation. Close by but with a slightly higher salary were mass communication and documentation graduates who had median earnings of £22,500.

Future Graduate Infografic

Economics was the subject which had the largest difference between the highest (£52,000) and lowest (£27,000) potential salary, with a substantial gap of £25,000 between the two. On the other hand, veterinary science had the lowest difference between the highest (£40,500) and lowest (£29,500) potential salary five years after graduation at £11,000.

Roger Blackley a career advisor comments, ‘University is undoubtedly a huge commitment. When it comes to picking a course to study, careful research and decision-making is always recommended. Despite this, what I have found is that graduates often end-up having post buyer’s remorse few years after graduating because their employment and earnings prospects have not meet their personal expectations.

‘Having spoken to many graduates first-hand, some have revealed to me that given the chance again, they would have followed a different pathway at university had they know the outcomes of their current undergraduate degree.

‘Having research like this is definitely handy for current as well as upcoming college and university students, because it provides them with something to refer to when making the tough decision of what to study at university and once qualified, a rough indication of their long-term future.’

Further reading

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the Smallbusiness.co.uk and Growthbusiness.co.uk titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the Express.co.uk.

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