Destinations and earnings of graduates after higher education

Published

1. Main facts and figures

  • in 2016/17, 88.1% of White graduates were in sustained employment or further study (or both) one year after graduation, the highest percentage out of all ethnic groups
  • 87.3% of graduates from the Indian ethnic group were in sustained employment or further study (or both)
  • 69.1% of Black Caribbean graduates were in sustained employment one year after graduation, the highest percentage out of all ethnic groups for those in sustained employment only
  • 24.8% of graduates from both the Black African and Other Asian ethnic groups were in further study one year after graduation, the highest percentage out of all ethnic groups
  • Indian graduates had the highest average earnings one year after graduation (£21,900), followed by graduates from the Chinese (£21,700) and Other Asian (£20,800) ethnic groups
  • graduates with the lowest average earnings were from the Other Black (£17,400), Bangladeshi (£17,900) and Black Caribbean (£18,000) ethnic groups
Things you need to know

These estimates show outcomes recorded in the 2016/17 tax year for undergraduate students who graduated 1, 3, 5 and ten full academic years earlier.

The academic year usually starts in September and ends in July the following year.

The tax year starts on 6 April and ends on 5 April the following year.

Students who graduated one full academic year before the 2016/17 tax year (which ran from 6 April 2016 to 5 April 2017) graduated between September 2014 and July 2015.

Those who graduated 10 full academic years before the 2016/17 tax year graduated between September 2005 and July 2006.

The data includes graduates who have been matched to either:

  • the Department for Work and Pensions’ Customer Information System, if they went into work
  • the HESA student record, if they went into further study

The charts and tables presented don’t include graduates whose ethnicity wasn’t known (2.8% of graduates in the 2014/15 academic year).

The data only includes students whose normal country of residence before starting their university degree was either:

  • the UK
  • Guernsey and Jersey (including their smaller islands)
  • the Isle of Man

Entrants from outside the UK are not asked to report their ethnic origin and are not included.

Please note that this data does not:

  • distinguish between the different types of work that graduates were doing
  • include estimates on the levels of graduates employed in ‘graduate occupations’
What the data measures

This data shows the percentage of graduates who went into employment, further study or both after finishing their degree.

Data is broken down by ethnicity, and is shown for people who graduated 1, 3, 5 and 10 full academic years before the 2016/17 tax year. It also shows the average (median) earnings of those in employment at these intervals.

The data includes graduates of full-time and part-time undergraduate degrees like:

  • Bachelor of Arts (BA)
  • Bachelor of Science (BSc)
  • Bachelor of Engineering (BEng)
  • Bachelor of Law (LLB)

To be in ‘sustained employment’, graduates must have been employed for at least 1 day a month in 5 months between October 2016 and March 2017. They could also have had a self-employment record in the 2016/17 tax year. The data doesn’t distinguish between part-time and full-time employment.

To be in ‘further study’, graduates must have been on a higher education course at a higher education institution in the UK in the 2016/17 tax year.

The category ‘sustained employment, further study, or both’ combines everyone in ‘sustained employment’ and 'further study'.

A fourth category includes graduates who had no sustained destination. This includes graduates with an out-of-work benefits record in the 2016/17 tax year, who weren’t in sustained employment or further study.

There’s an extra category to show where this information wasn’t captured. For example, if people moved out of the UK after graduating or earned below the limit where they start paying National Insurance.

Earnings figures are reported either by employers, or by graduates themselves through a self-employment record for 2016/17. They don't include graduates in both sustained employment and further study, as their earnings would probably relate to part-time work.

The median earnings for each ethnic group is the middle point when the earnings figures are arranged in order of size from lowest to highest.

The ethnic categories used in this data

This data uses the ethnic groups included in the student records from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA):

Asian:

  • Bangladeshi
  • Indian
  • Pakistani
  • Chinese
  • Any other Asian background

Black:

  • Black African
  • Black Caribbean
  • Any other Black background

White

Other ethnic groups (including Mixed ethnicities)

2. Graduate destinations by ethnicity

Percentage of graduates in different destinations 1, 3, 5 and 10 years after graduation, by ethnicity
1 year after graduation 3 years after graduation 5 years after graduation 10 year after graduation
Ethnicity 1 year after graduation sustained employment further education or both (%) 1 year after graduation no sustained destination (%) 1 year after graduation activity not captured (%) 3 years after graduation sustained employment further education or both (%) 3 years after graduation no sustained destination (%) 3 years after graduation activity not captured (%) 5 years after graduation sustained employment further education or both (%) 5 years after graduation no sustained destination (%) 5 years after graduation activity not captured (%) 10 year after graduation sustained employment further education or both (%) 10 year after graduation no sustained destination (%) 10 year after graduation activity not captured (%)
All 87.2 7.8 5.0 86.2 6.6 7.2 85.1 6.0 8.9 82.6 4.7 12.7
Bangladeshi 86.4 9.3 4.3 84.1 10.1 5.8 83.1 8.3 8.6 80.8 5.9 13.3
Chinese 80.5 8.2 11.3 74.6 6.3 19.1 72.7 5.4 21.8 68.6 4.8 26.6
Indian 87.3 8.1 4.6 87.2 6.5 6.3 86.3 6.4 7.3 83.2 5.4 11.4
Pakistani 83.2 10.4 6.5 82.0 9.2 8.8 81.0 8.7 10.3 77.1 7.6 15.2
Asian other 83.7 9.8 6.5 81.7 8.2 10.1 77.8 8.2 14.0 75.8 7.0 17.2
Black African 85.4 9.8 4.9 82.5 9.2 8.3 79.4 9.4 11.1 75.1 8.2 16.8
Black Caribbean 87.1 9.3 3.5 86.1 9.2 4.7 85.8 8.6 5.6 83.5 7.3 9.2
Black other 84.8 10.0 5.1 79.1 12.3 8.7 77.6 10.0 12.4 76.4 10.1 13.5
White 88.1 7.3 4.7 87.2 6.0 6.7 86.3 5.4 8.4 83.7 4.2 12.1
Other inc Mixed 83.7 9.9 6.4 81.2 8.9 9.9 79.9 8.4 11.6 76.9 6.6 16.6

Download table data for ‘Graduate destinations by ethnicity’ (CSV) Source data for ‘Graduate destinations by ethnicity’ (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • in 2016/17, 87.2% of people who graduated 1 year ago were in sustained employment, further study or both
  • 7.8% of people who graduated 1 year ago had no sustained destination, and the destination wasn’t known for 5.0%
  • White graduates were the most likely out of all ethnic groups to be in sustained employment, further study or both 1 year after graduating (at 88.1%)
  • those most likely to have no sustained destination 1 year after graduating were from the Pakistani (10.4%), Other Black (10.0%) and Other (including mixed) (9.9%) ethnic groups
  • graduates from the White (7.3%), Indian (8.1%) and Chinese (8.2%) ethnic groups were least likely to have no sustained destination 1 year after graduating
  • among those who graduated 5 years ago, graduates from the White and Indian ethnic groups were the most likely to be in sustained employment, further study, or both (both at 86.3%);
  • among those who graduated 5 years ago, graduates from the Other Black and Black African ethnic groups were the most likely to have no sustained destination (at 10.0% and 9.4% respectively)
  • the percentage of graduates whose destination wasn’t known increased the longer ago they graduated – from 5.0% for those who graduated 1 year ago, to 12.7% for those who graduated 10 years ago

3. Graduate destinations (further study or employment) by ethnicity

Percentage of graduates in further study or sustained employment 1, 3, 5 and 10 years after graduation, by ethnicity
1 year after graduation 3 years after graduation 5 years after graduation 10 year after graduation
Ethnicity 1 year after graduation Sustained employment only (%) 1 year after graduation Further study with or without sustained employment (%) 3 years after graduation Sustained employment only (%) 3 years after graduation Further study with or without sustained employment (%) 5 years after graduation Sustained employment only (%) 5 years after graduation Further study with or without sustained employment (%) 10 year after graduation Sustained employment only (%) 10 year after graduation Further study with or without sustained employment (%)
All 65.9 21.3 72.3 13.9 74.7 10.4 76.9 5.7
Bangladeshi 65.7 20.7 73.3 10.8 76.2 6.9 77.7 3.1
Chinese 56.7 23.8 62.6 12.0 64.6 8.1 63.8 4.8
Indian 65.1 22.2 74.2 13.0 77.5 8.8 78.7 4.5
Pakistani 58.9 24.3 69.8 12.2 72.3 8.7 72.6 4.5
Asian other 58.9 24.8 67.1 14.6 66.8 11.0 69.1 6.7
Black African 60.6 24.8 64.3 18.2 64.9 14.5 65.9 9.2
Black Caribbean 69.1 18.0 73.4 12.7 74.4 11.4 76.2 7.3
Black other 62.1 22.7 65.0 14.1 64.9 12.7 70.0 6.4
White 67.2 20.9 73.4 13.8 75.9 10.4 78.1 5.6
Other inc Mixed 61.7 22.0 67.1 14.1 69.6 10.3 70.6 6.3

Download table data for ‘Graduate destinations (further study or employment) by ethnicity’ (CSV) Source data for ‘Graduate destinations (further study or employment) by ethnicity’ (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • in 2016/17, 65.9% of people who graduated 1 year ago were in sustained employment only, and 21.3% were in further study
  • Black Caribbean graduates were the most likely out of all ethnic groups to be in sustained employment only, 1 year after graduation (69.1%)
  • graduates from the Chinese, Other Asian background and Pakistani ethnic groups had the lowest percentages in sustained employment only, 1 year after graduation (at 56.7%, 58.9% and 58.9% respectively); these were also the 3 ethnic groups with the highest percentages of graduates whose destinations weren’t known
  • graduates from the Black African and Other Asian ethnic groups had the highest percentage in further study 1 year after graduation (both at 24.8%)
  • Black Caribbean graduates were the least likely out of all ethnic groups to be in further study (at 18.0%)
  • the percentage of graduates who in sustained employment increased from 65.9% of those who graduated 1 year ago, to 76.9% of those who graduated 10 years ago
  • the percentage of graduates in further study declined from 21.3% of those who graduated 1 year ago, to 5.7% of those who graduated 10 years ago

4. Average earnings of graduates by ethnicity

Average (median) earnings of graduates in sustained employment only, 1, 3, 5 and 10 years after graduation, by ethnicity
Ethnicity 1 year after graduation 3 years after graduation 5 years after graduation 10 years after graduation
Average (median) earnings (£) Average (median) earnings (£) Average (median) earnings (£) Average (median) earnings (£)
All 19,900 23,300 26,000 30,500
Bangladeshi 17,900 21,800 24,400 27,700
Chinese 21,700 25,300 28,100 32,600
Indian 21,900 25,700 28,500 33,100
Pakistani 18,400 21,000 22,400 24,700
Asian other 20,800 24,300 28,500 33,200
Black African 19,500 21,900 23,900 28,700
Black Caribbean 18,000 21,200 23,300 27,500
Black other 17,400 21,000 22,400 27,800
White 20,000 23,300 26,100 30,700
Other inc Mixed 19,600 23,100 26,100 31,400

Download table data for ‘Average earnings of graduates by ethnicity’ (CSV) Source data for ‘Average earnings of graduates by ethnicity’ (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • in 2016/17, the average (median) salary of someone who graduated 1 year ago was £19,900
  • the average salary was £23,300 for those who graduated 3 years ago, £26,000 for those who graduated 5 years ago, and £30,500 for those who graduated 10 years ago
  • graduates from the Indian and Chinese ethnic groups had the highest average earnings 1 year after graduating, at £21,900 and £21,700
  • graduates from the Other Black and Bangladeshi ethnic groups had the lowest average earnings 1 year after graduating, at £17,400 and £17,900
  • graduates from the Indian and Other Asian ethnic groups had the highest average earnings 5 years after graduating (both £28,500)
  • graduates from the Other Black and Pakistani ethnic groups had the lowest average earnings 5 years after graduating (both £22,400)

5. Methodology

The statistics have been produced using the Department for Education’s (DfE) Longitudinal Educational Outcomes (LEO) dataset.

The LEO dataset is created by combining data from:

  • DfE’s national pupil database
  • Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) on students at UK universities
  • individualised learner records covering English further education providers and specialist post-16 institutions
  • employment and PAYE data, and data from the Self Assessment tax return, from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)
  • the national benefit database, labour market system and Juvos data, held by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)

The database records were matched using people’s name, date of birth, postcode and other personal characteristics.

Suppression rules and disclosure control

The Code of Practice for Statistics requires us to take reasonable steps to ensure that our published or disseminated statistics protect confidentiality. Where appropriate we apply disclosure control to protect confidentiality.

Rounding

Percentages are rounded to the nearest 0.1%. Earnings are rounded to the nearest £100.

Quality and methodology information

6. Data sources

Source

Type of data

Administrative data

Type of statistic

Official statistics

Publisher

Department for Education

Publication frequency

Yearly

Purpose of data source

This data helps monitor the progress of higher education leavers into the labour market.

7. Download the data

Destinations of graduates after higher education - Spreadsheet (csv) 43 KB

measure, tax year, academic year, years after graduation, ethnicity, ethnicity_type, destinations, value, value type

earnings of graduates after higher education - Spreadsheet (csv) 16 KB

measure, tax year, academic year, years after graduation, ethnicity, ethnicity_type, earnings_quartile, value, value_type