The Information: Jobs for graduates

As the UCAS clearing period draws near – starting July 1 – it seems today’s students are, depending on your point of view, either refreshingly guileless or a bit dim: data from Unistats show that the courses most likely to lead to jobs are not the most popular among students.

The mortarboard graphic shows the seven most popular courses for undergraduates (in terms of numbers of applicants in 2009) and what happened to 2008 graduates in those subjects. Business and administration courses – including finance, marketing and HR management – drew the second-highest number of applicants, just behind “combined studies”. And yet only 72 per cent of people who earned one of the business and admin degrees in 2008 was employed within six months of graduating. Meanwhile, teacher training had the highest level of postgraduate employment, at 94 per cent, but ranked only 16th in popularity out of 21 overall categories of degree course.

Does postgraduate study skew the numbers? Sometimes, yes: with degrees in law – the eighth most popular subject – only 48 per cent of students were in work six months after graduating, but 41 per cent were studying full time.

Source: Unistats and UCAS Statistics for graduates who had completed their first full time degree

Note: sizes of mortarboards do not correspond to numbers of graduates; some figures do not add up to 100 due to rounding

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