Full-time Masters graduates in social sciences are more likely to be in full-time work and less likely to be unemployed than the average in all subjects
Social sciences was the second most popular Masters subject studied in 2016 with 9,795 UK graduates representing 15% of the total cohort.
The mostly commonly-studied subjects were social work and politics (together accounting for 43%), although every subject in this discipline had reasonable representation.
A large proportion of students studied full time. This is possibly linked to the popularity of further study as an immediate option among social science undergraduates.
- 9,795 graduates
- 15% of total Masters cohort
- 71.6% studied full time
- 28.4% studied part time
The outcomes for full-time social science Masters graduates were strong. They were more likely to be in full-time work, less likely to be in part-time work and less likely to be unemployed than typical full-time Masters students. They were still more likely to be unemployed than their undergraduate colleagues, however.
The only indicator they do not perform ‘well’ in is further study, though this may simply reflect the needs of the labour market. For example, in order to become a licensed social worker, an undergraduate or Masters degree in social work is required, but above Masters-level study is not.
Interestingly, part-time social science graduates are almost the complete opposite. Compared with the average, they were less likely to be in full-time employment, more likely to be unemployed and more likely to be in further study.
Outcomes,Social sciences FT,Social sciences PT Full time work,63.92977872,70.35612449 Part time work,10.09727785,11.97883374 Working and studying,3.390318842,3.635171114 Further study,11.01309281,4.298284133 Unemployed,6.264886942,3.048207705 Other,5.304644836,6.683378819
Local and central government was very popular as most social workers were employed in this industry.
Surprisingly, the second largest employer for social science Masters graduates was the health industry. These graduates studied social work and became nurses or medical practitioners. Perhaps courses here are being utilised to aid or prepare health professionals who work (or plan on working) in the community.
The majority of those in education were HE teaching professionals but a small number were employed in teaching roles at either primary or secondary level.
Industries,Social sciences FT,Social sciences PT Manufacturing,1.803600356,2.987633794 Construction · engineering · research and development,4.592849483,6.823495791 Retail,4.694665632,2.381663722 Logistics,0.798558032,0.617011327 Hospitality & tourism,2.739054051,0.80146524 Media and publishing,1.848947044,0.984620181 IT and telecoms,2.490930662,1.256105165 Legal and accountancy,7.334470328,5.942793308 Management consultancy,3.710728057,1.472383872 Other business and finance,9.467761071,6.635144965 Marketing and PR,1.872903785,0.746908449 Education,8.824921855,12.73251585 Health,4.763113464,14.4361166 Social care,10.08236556,11.72256573 Local and central govt,30.86284195,26.96209602 Arts · sports and leisure,1.437974857,1.245063909 Other industries,2.67431381,2.252416086
Social and welfare occupations were popular, particularly among those who studied social work. Consequently, social worker was the most common job title, although both welfare and housing and legal associate were popular.
A number of graduates also entered business and finance roles becoming:
- business associates
- management consultants and business analysts
- research and administrative professionals.
Other professionals became researchers and public service professionals.
A significant number of part-time graduates became managers, particularly in health services. This highlights the use of Masters qualifications as continuing professional development (CPD) courses by employers.
Both full-time and part-time social scientists were considerably more likely than typical Masters graduates to work for the largest businesses. In fact, other than medical graduates they were the most likely to do so. Medics are an outlier as they almost exclusively work for the NHS.
Types of work,Social sciences FT,Social sciences PT Managers,6.125301492,14.5362971 Health,1.846596155,9.270825252 Education ,3.285804789,7.154679701 Social and welfare,31.87111327,26.36744511 Science,2.211085827,1.207101663 Engineering,0.560797048,3.0064396 IT,1.449151844,1.628649753 Business and finance,19.78414711,12.09170611 Marketing and sales,6.189222128,4.849742675 Arts and media,1.454549587,1.587917346 Other professionals,9.013946062,9.742803941 Health and education occupations,2.182960747,1.487056146 Clerical and secretarial,6.792917025,4.17022267 Retail and service ,4.746604394,1.325419608 Other occupations,2.230119972,1.509038715 Unknown occupations,0.255682545,0.064654615
Only London, the South East and Northern Ireland employed a greater proportion of working graduates than they taught.
Part-time social science graduates behaved like typical Masters graduates with respect to whether they moved to find employment. However, full-time social science Masters graduates were homebirds and were both less likely to go to a region new to them and more likely to never leave home.
The most popular locations for these graduates were:
London was overwhelmingly dominant. The home regions of the next four most popular cities all recruited a smaller proportion of working graduates than they taught. This is likely testament to both the quality of the universities and the lack of a wider Masters jobs market outside of the major cities in these regions.
Location,Social sciences FT,Social sciences PT North East,2.735967819,1.828355268 North West,9.75386708,8.284078073 Yorkshire and The Humber,5.349230925,7.725195051 East Midlands,3.583324893,4.936033835 West Midlands,5.513608937,4.322641658 East of England,5.161990479,7.443454961 London,41.28897828,35.56886542 South East,10.14426486,10.93466782 South West,5.359938648,5.219087399 Wales,2.999898711,2.364252502 Scotland,5.909505274,6.677699845 Northern Ireland,1.967905772,4.30162608 Guernsey · Jersey and the Isle of Man,0.231518326,0.394042084
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