Latest graduate employment news – destinations and starting salaries

Sunday, July 3, 2016

The latest graduate employment figures have been released by Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA)1 showing the employment destination of the 2014-15 cohort – which consisted of over 668,000 graduates.

The results show 94% of last year’s graduates are in employment or further study, with 71% in professional roles.

Chart 1 shows the breakdown by destination: 72% were working either in the UK or overseas, 6% were combining work and study and 13% were continuing their studies.  5% were unemployed.


The percentage of full-time first degree leavers who were unemployed varied between subjects, ranging from those which have traditionally low percentages, such as medicine & dentistry (less than 1%), veterinary science (1%), education (2%) and subjects allied to medicine (2%) to those with higher percentages of unemployment such as computer science (10%), physical science (8%) and engineering & technology (8%).

In 2014/15, of the full-time first degree leavers who were employed in the UK, over two-thirds (71%) were in posts classified as professional employment (68% in 2013/14). The remaining 29% were working in occupational groups classed as non-professional. Sales and customer service occupations accounted for 10% of all leavers in employment, the largest group in the non-professional occupations. Although we know our recruiters might disagree with these roles being classified as non-professional!

Salary levels

Of those working in the UK in full-time paid employment the median salary reported (to the nearest £500) was £21,000 (£21,000 in 2013/14). The mean salary was £22,500 compared to £21,500 in 2013/14.

The largest median salaries were reported by leavers who studied Medicine and dentistry (£30,000), Veterinary science (£27,000) and Engineering and technology (£25,000).

Next steps

So if you are looking to recruit a graduate go to to post your job with us.  We will go the extra mile to get you great candidates.

If you are a graduate seeking employment in the South West then we have loads of jobs on – so pop there and see what we have on offer!


Dr Deborah Watson, Director, Gradsouthwest Ltd.

1 Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education HESA report 2016.