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Degrees of Advantage? A longer-term investigation of the careers of UK graduates

We are delighted to announce the new stage of the Futuretrack study, which will be catching up with the Futuretrack cohort of students who applied to university in 2005/2006, most of whom graduated in 2009/10, around nine years after their graduation. This is the fifth stage of the Futuretrack longitudinal survey, and is funded by the Nuffield Foundation.

The Futuretrack Stage 5 survey is now live.

If you have received an email from us with an invitation to complete the survey, we hope that you will let us know what you have been up to since we were last in touch.

If you have NOT heard from us, you can still do so, until 31st August when the survey closes. Check Information for participants below to see how.

Please see information for participants for more details.

Futuretrack Stage 5 aims to:

  • create an accurate picture of the kinds of jobs graduates are doing in the longer-term, and how they got them,
  • explore how the recession affected graduate employment,
  • collect data on the longer-term impact of student debt on graduate careers,
  • establish whether higher education has contributed to social mobility, and
  • compare the experiences of the Futuretrack cohort with students who graduated in 1995.

Futuretrack is an academic research study that explores the relationship between higher education, career decision-making and labour market opportunities – an issue that has become heated in media and academic debates. Futuretrack stages 1-4 were led by Professor Kate Purcell, working closely with Professor Peter Elias. It tracked the 2005/2006 cohort of applicants who applied to study on full-time undergraduate courses through the University and Colleges Admission Service (UCAS) applicants four times in six years, starting from their initial application to higher education, shedding a great deal of light on the relationship between higher education, employment and how students’ views of career options evolved during their studies. Findings from all previous stages 1-4 are available on our website. The fourth stage, conducted in 2011/12, looked at what kinds of jobs recent graduates were doing around two years after graduation. The new fifth stage provides a timely opportunity to catch up with the Futuretrackers to see how they have navigated the labour market over the longer term.

The new fifth stage is led by Professor Peter Elias, with a new team of researchers at the Warwick Institute for Employment Research that includes old Futuretrack team members and new faces. Like previous stages, Futuretrack Stage 5 will include the collection of survey data - this time through Qualtrics rather than SnapSurveys. New to Stage 5 is the collection and analysis of qualitative data to shed more light on participants' experiences since graduating to date.

Futuretrack is an independent, interdisciplinary, policy-related research project. The fifth stage is funded by the Nuffield Foundation. Stages 1-4 were funded by the Higher Education Careers Service Unit (HECSU) and this Institute, working with UCAS. For more information please contact us at