Graduate Outcomes in ‘Business & Administrative Studies’: Analysis of the second year of results from the new HESA survey

The Chartered ABS has carried out an analysis of the second wave of results on graduates from ‘Business & Administrative Studies’ under the HESA ‘Graduate Outcomes’ survey, the successor to the Destination of Leavers in Higher Education (DLHE) survey.

Graduate Outcomes’ aims to give a wider understanding of the graduate journey than DLHE which was primarily focused on employment status and activity. A set of new ‘graduate voice’ measures were added to the new survey to capture the attributes of well-being relevant to graduates from HE. Our analysis of ‘Graduates Outcomes’ primarily focuses on students who completed a ‘Business & Administrative Studies’ course although results are compared to those of graduates from other fields.

The results are based on students who graduated in the 2018/19 academic year during the period of May to July 2019 and who responded to the survey in September 2020 approximately 15 months following graduation. The longer time lag between graduation and survey participation is intended to generate data that is more reflective of students’ activities after completing their studies. Under DLHE students were approached to complete the survey six months after graduation.

 

Download the report here

 

As graduates from 2018/19 responded to the survey in September 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic, HESA carried out analysis to identify if there had been any impact on responses as a result of the pandemic. Response rates for the cohort which graduated between May and July 2019 were down slightly on those for the equivalent cohort of 2017/18 graduates, but HESA concluded that the data was robust despite the difficult circumstances under which it was obtained.

One of the most notable differences compared to the first survey wave is that the overall rate of 2018/19 graduates recording themselves as unemployed is 6.7% (including those who are unemployed and due to start work or study), up 1.7% from 5% in the 2017/18 dataset. However, comparison with the ONS unemployment data shows that recent graduates seem to have been insulated from the worst of the pandemic-related job losses experienced by other young workers. However, they have still felt the effects of the pandemic more strongly than the working age population as a whole.

Some highlights from our analysis of the latest ‘Graduate Outcomes’ dataset are below:

  • For UK-domiciled first degree graduates in ‘Business & Administrative Studies’ from 2018/19 81% were in full-time employment 15 months after graduating which is 3% lower than for graduates from 2017/18. This percentage is marginally higher than the average for all subjects overall and also higher than several other social science subjects.
  • For UK postgraduate leavers in 2018/19, 85% of those from ‘Business & Administrative Studies’ were in full-time employment 15 months after leaving HE, which is 1% below the average across all subjects areas and 1% lower than for 2017/18 ‘Business & Administrative Studies’ graduates. However, the proportion of postgraduate leavers from ‘Business & Administrative Studies’ in full-time employment is higher relative to several other social science subjects.
  • For first degree graduates in ‘Business & Administrative Studies’ from the UK and the EU the proportions stating that further study is their most important activity increased marginally compared to those from 2017/18. This perhaps reflects that more graduates are choosing further study as their primary activity given the uncertain economic climate.
  • Of the UK-domiciled first degree graduates in ‘Business & Administrative Studies’ from 2018/19 reporting that study was their most important activity 15 months later, a taught higher degree is once again by far the most popular choice of qualification.
  • Of all UK-domiciled degree leavers (first degree and postgraduate combined) reporting that they were running their own business, 23% of these graduated from the ‘Business & Administrative Studies’ subject area, which is more than from any other subject, and is unchanged from the results for those who graduated in 2017/18.
  • For the questions on graduates’ subjective well-being, a smaller proportion of 2018/19 graduates in ‘Business & Administrative Studies’ reported high levels of anxiety compared to graduates from other non-science subjects and all subjects overall.
  • Similarly, the proportion of ‘Business & Administrative Studies’ graduates reporting high or very high levels of happiness was marginally higher than for graduates from other non-science subjects and all subjects overall. However, there was a 2% decline in the percentage of ‘Business & Administrative Studies’ graduates reporting high or very high levels of happiness relative to those from 2017/18.

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