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What do graduates do?


Published September 2018

Unemployment among recent graduates was at its lowest level for more than a quarter of a century, but average starting salaries for those in work remained static

Key findings

The latest edition of What do graduates do? reveals that the graduate labour market in 2016 was in relatively good health. Of the 248,525 UK-domiciled first-degree graduates who responded to the survey:

  • 74.2% of graduates were in employment six months after graduating.
  • Only 5.3% were unemployed - the lowest rate since 1989.
  • 71.3% of employed graduates were in a professional-level job.
  • 21% of graduates went on to full or part-time further study.
  • The average salary for graduates in full-time employment in the UK was £21,776.

What do graduates do? 2017/18

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What do graduates do? 2017/18

What's inside

The report includes insights from careers experts as well as detailed subject overviews revealing the destinations of graduates in:

  • business and administrative studies
  • creative arts
  • technology, engineering and maths
  • humanities
  • science
  • social sciences.

About the report

What do graduates do? examines first-degree graduate destinations six months after graduation.

The data is from the Higher Education Statistics Agency's Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey and is produced by Prospects and AGCAS on behalf of HECSU.

To buy a printed copy for £14.95, email


'As a careers adviser and information specialist with 30 years' experience, I cannot rate What do graduates do? highly enough. It forms an essential part of my toolkit, whether discussing university choices with sixth formers, challenging myths and stereotypes, or widening the expectations of parents or carers.'
- Hilary Nickell, project manager at Career Companion

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