Report on Graduate College Graduates Survey Released

The Ministry of the Economy today released the following research report: Survey of Higher Education Graduates: Academic Year 2019/20.

Survey of tertiary education graduates: survey report on the 2019/20 academic year published.

This report presents an analysis of Northern Ireland’s seventh annual survey of university graduates from higher education (TE). Undertaken approximately six months after completion of the course, it provides an overview of the immediate added value for FE College graduates of obtaining and achieving a regulated qualification of Level 3 or below in the FE sector during the course. of the 2019/20 academic year.

The key points are:

  • More than four-tenths (43.6%) of FE College leavers who achieved a Level 3 qualification or below were employed six months after obtaining their 2019/20 qualification, compared to 40.9% before their course began ; the proportion in apprenticeship decreased slightly, from 43.1% to 42.0%.
  • Linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, the proportion in employment (43.6%) was lower than that of the 2018/19 cohort at the equivalent stage (47.7%) and included 2.9% of people on leave. In addition, the unemployment rate (7.7%) was higher than that of graduates in 2018/19 (4.0%).
  • When asked for the most important reason for taking their course, FE College leavers were the most likely to say, “I thought it would improve my career prospects” (21.9%); “I was interested in the subject” (17.3%); or “I wanted to learn something new / acquire new skills” (15.6%).
  • Over five-sevenths (73.3%) of employed FE College dropouts said the course prepared them well for the job.
  • The employment rates of FE College leavers varied by field of study. The subjects with the highest proportions of FE College leavers in full-time employment were construction, planning and the built environment (62.6%), business, administration and law (55.3% ) and engineering and manufacturing technologies (51.5%).
  • The subjects with the lowest proportions of FE College leavers in employment were agriculture, horticulture and animal care (8.8%), history, philosophy and theology (11.5%) and social sciences (13.5%).
  • Generally, unemployment rates were lower for those who qualified at higher levels. One-sixth of those who had studied at entry level or level 1 were unemployed (15.6%), compared to 8.5% of those who had studied at level 2 and 4.7% of those at level 3.

This report, along with tables (including notes and technical details), summary and infographic can be downloaded from the Ministry’s website.

Notes to Editors:

1. The destinations of those qualified at level 4 or above are researched separately, through their participation in the HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey approximately 15 months after obtaining their qualifications.

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