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Graduates in non-graduate jobs

Data from a representative survey (Futuretrack) show that approximately 40 per cent of all 2009/2010 UK graduates were still employed in a non-graduate job more than one year after graduation. A decade ago, a similar analysis was undertaken based on the Class of 99 data set and findings were quite different: the proportion of graduates employed in non-graduate jobs fell steadily in the post-graduate period (Purcell et al., 2013). It seems that ten years ago, employment in non-graduate occupations was used as some kind of stepping stone into more skill-appropriate employment whilst the current leaver cohort are more likely to persist in non-graduate jobs.

In this context, the study aimed to:

  • Reworking these data sets to allow for a robust comparison of the two graduates’ cohorts, to identify change over time; and
  • Improve understanding of the detailed characteristics (personal, HE-related) of those that enter and remain in non graduate employment (and how it may have changed).

Findings were published here

Behle, H. (2016) Graduates in non-graduate jobs. A report for HEFCE and SRHE. Report.



Project team:

Heike Behle - Principal Investigator

Project Duration:

March 2016 - August 2016

Project Funders: