The relatively low numbers of graduates going into part-time employment suggests success in getting full-time jobs or winning funding for further study
In 2016, 5,460 students (8% of the total Masters cohort) studied the physical sciences, maths or IT.
These subjects had the highest proportion of full-time students, and a young student body. Therefore, it’s likely that many of those taking a Masters in these subjects were doing so straight after their undergraduate degree.
However, there were courses with younger student bodies and a lower proportion of full-time graduates, so not all courses have similar student profiles.
- 5,460 graduates
- 8.8% of total Masters cohort
- 78% studied full time
- 22% studied part time
The full-time work outcomes for physical science, maths and IT graduates were similar to the average.
Both modes of qualification had low part-time employment. This could be seen as indicative of their success in finding either full-time employment or funding for further study (which they were likely to go on to).
Further study for full-time students, in particular, was very high. However, this is to be expected as many scientific research roles require a PhD, and a Masters is often highly recommended, or even required, to get funding for Doctoral study.
While the outcomes for physical science, maths and IT graduates were positive, they continued to experience the higher-than-average unemployment rates that they did at undergraduate level. The Shadbolt1 and Wakeham2 reviews looked into this and highlighted a lack of work readiness as a leading contributor, meaning that graduates had insufficient experience, soft and technical skills.
Outcomes,Physical science · maths and IT FT,Physical science · maths and IT PT Full time work,59.28600713,75.73807956 Part time work,8.695743585,7.216225951 Working and studying,2.039028527,3.456584651 Further study,17.48364467,4.016742638 Unemployed,7.861420347,4.099959013 Other,4.634155743,5.472408183
Physical science, maths and IT Masters graduates found work in many industries. The main reason for this was the reliance of all areas of the economy on programmers and software developers.
Many physical science, maths and IT graduates seemed to gravitate towards specific industries. For example, geologists and mineralogists worked in manufacturing or the construction, engineering and research and development (R&D) industries. Large quantities of environmental professionals were found in the construction, engineering and R&D industry, and analysts of various forms were primarily found in the business and finance industry.
Masters graduates were more likely to work for big businesses, and this is particularly true for physical science, maths and IT graduates. This could be because physical science, maths and IT graduates were more likely to work in London and other major cities, or because larger businesses tend to have dedicated in-house IT teams and analysts.
Industries,Physical science · maths and IT FT,Physical science · maths and IT PT Manufacturing,10.5185215,12.20899931 Construction · engineering · research and development,18.49531044,9.895471392 Retail,6.604172753,3.57308316 Logistics,1.720681422,1.428943711 Hospitality & tourism,3.347672345,1.284167246 Media and publishing,2.104006528,2.317871207 IT and telecoms,19.87598602,15.92541117 Legal and accountancy,1.75443015,1.882094047 Management consultancy,1.863735732,2.008049571 Other business and finance,10.10144767,10.52090572 Marketing and PR,1.61993895,1.834317813 Education,9.566505143,14.4617211 Health,2.165963148,8.373870744 Social care,1.544382096,1.688093584 Local and central govt,5.242134531,9.605918462 Arts · sports and leisure,2.661112398,1.64031735 Other industries,0.813999174,1.35076442
IT and business and finance roles were unsurprisingly the most popular. Masters graduates in IT occupations tended to be programmers and software developers. Those in business were:
- business and finance analysts
- business associates
- management consultants
The ‘other professionals’ occupation group was also popular, but this could be because the group contained environment professionals and lab technicians.
The number of graduates in the science occupation group may seem low, considering that Masters graduates have greater access to this job market than undergraduates. However, lab technicians weren’t included in this category, and many of the research roles were obtained by PhD holders. Those who fell under this heading were almost exclusively geologists, mineralogists and social and humanities scientists.
Types of work,Physical science · maths and IT FT,Physical science · maths and IT PT Managers,2.960075265,9.414707066 Health,0.658572958,2.972460185 Education ,2.894518231,6.768527569 Social and welfare,1.351175523,0.814983039 Science,10.02622281,5.533835451 Engineering,4.170128011,3.568964526 IT,26.19278773,34.0409935 Business and finance,17.82750993,13.8748347 Marketing and sales,2.92704653,2.424826079 Arts and media,2.172389979,0.862415914 Other professionals,15.07211274,13.82452711 Health and education occupations,1.000870758,0.694244811 Clerical and secretarial,3.608139081,2.065486115 Retail and service ,4.968322441,1.437359857 Other occupations,4.070040936,1.701834071 Unknown occupations,0.100087076,0
Only the East of England, South West and London employed a greater proportion of working physical science, maths and IT graduates than they taught. Some regions hired a significantly smaller number.
This supports migration data showing that regardless of mode of qualification, physical science, maths and IT Masters graduates were more mobile than typical Masters graduates.
However, this says more about the mobility of Masters graduates on the whole, than physical science, maths and IT graduates. Even within this mobile group, fewer than one in three full-time graduates and one in five part-time graduates found employment in a location where they neither studied nor called home.
Outside of London, popular locations for these graduates included:
Notably, Birmingham and Manchester are not among the top locations even though overall they were the second and fourth largest recruiters of Masters graduates in 2016 respectively.
Locations,Physical science · maths and IT FT,Physical science · maths and IT PT North East,2.874681302,2.095817135 North West,8.597421746,8.354038175 Yorkshire and The Humber,6.39597391,5.344772149 East Midlands,3.653891443,3.338107626 West Midlands,5.827181225,5.26146561 East of England,6.634037455,7.091286428 London,24.11250934,32.58016427 South East,14.79833714,13.69150273 South West,8.552880825,6.405834381 Wales,3.464464536,3.775101576 Scotland,10.91252573,9.358101196 Northern Ireland,3.993323981,2.557656894 Guernsey · Jersey and the Isle of Man,0.182771367,0.146151823
Also in this series
- Business studies
- Creative arts
- Engineering and building
- Social sciences
- Shadbolt Review of Computer Sciences Degree Accreditation and Graduate Employability, Sir Nigel Shadbolt, 2016.
- Wakeham Review of STEM Degree Provision and Graduate Employability, Sir William Wakeham, 2016.
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