This edition of What Do Graduates Do? The Class of 2015 – An Analysis of the First Destination of University Graduates, is the 35th survey of graduates. The results of this survey are an important guide to graduate outcomes and inform decisions of policy makers, academics, students and employers. Over 18,500 students that graduated with level 8 – 10 qualifications in 2015 participated in this survey.
Data was collected in March 2016 from these graduates to determine their situation around nine months post-graduation. Employment rates are up, indicating more preferable labour market conditions for graduates and limiting the need to emigrate in order to find suitable employment. However, in most cases it is not a shift from seeking employment to employment that has seen employment rates rise but rather a shift from further studies or training into employment. As expected, higher qualifications are associated with better labour market outcomes, including
earning potential. Graduates from vocationally oriented fields such as Education and Health & Welfare tend to fare best in terms of labour market outcomes although Education graduates are finding it difficult to secure permanent positions.
Labour market outcomes for ICT graduates are also favourable, with higher rates of employment and higher average salaries than most other graduates. Arts & Humanities and Natural Sciences, Mathematics & Statistics graduates continue to face labour market challenges with lower rates of employment reported for level 8 graduates
in these fields. However, employment prospects improve considerably for graduates in these fields who obtain level 9 and 10 qualifications. Health Services, Education and the Business, Finance and Insurance Services sectors are the most popular areas of employment for graduates, the former two illustrating the key role Public Service employment plays in the employment of graduates