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what jobs did last years' graduates go on to do

What jobs did last year's graduates in your subject go on to do?

Research published today casts fresh light on the employment prospects of graduates of different subjects. The What do graduates do? report, published by the Higher Education Careers Services Unit (HECSU), explores what 2012 graduates were doing six months after finishing their studies. This is an annual survey, and this year it includes an unprecedented level of detail about the work undertaken by graduates from different degree backgrounds.

The report gives a breakdown of the proportions of graduates of different subjects working in various types of job. We’ve picked out the two most common areas of employment for a range of popular degree subjects and listed them below. Check out our advice articles on what you can do with different degrees for more ideas about your options. The figures relate to the type of work undertaken by graduates who were in employment, not to all graduates of each subject.

Type of work for 2012 science graduates in employment six months later

  • Biology 20.8% retail, catering, waiting and bar staff; 16.5% professionals, associate professionals and technicians
  • Chemistry 19.2% science professionals; 17.5% professionals, associate professionals and technicians
  • Physical and geographical sciences 22.1% retail, catering, waiting and bar staff; 12.8% business HR and finance professionals
  • Physics 20.7% business, HR and finance professionals; 14.9% information technology (IT) professionals
  • Sports science graduates 21.0% professionals, associate professionals and technicians; 17.4% retail, catering, waiting and bar staff

Maths and IT graduates: where did they enter employment?

  • Maths 39.6% business, HR and finance professionals; 10.2% information technology (IT) professionals
  • Computer science and IT 57.9% IT professionals; 10.5% retail, catering, waiting and bar staff

Engineering and building management graduates: jobs six months after graduation

  • Architecture and building 43.5% engineering and building professionals; 16.2% professionals, associate professionals and technicians
  • Civil engineering 66.2% engineering and building professionals; 6.8% professionals, associate professionals and technicians
  • Mechanical engineering 63.8% engineering and building professionals; 7.4% professionals, associate professionals and technicians

Social science graduates: where did they find work?

  • Economics 51.9% business, HR and finance professionals; 10.5% clerical, secretarial and numerical clerk occupations
  • Geography 18.8% retail, catering, waiting and bar staff; 17.5% business, HR and finance professionals
  • Law 21.3% legal, social and welfare professionals; 19.8% retail, catering, waiting and bar staff
  • Politics 18.8% business, HR and finance professionals; 15.4% business, HR and finance professionals
  • Psychology 18.9% retail, catering, waiting and bar staff; 17.6% childcare, health and education occupations
  • Sociology 22.7% retail, catering, waiting and bar staff; clerical, secretarial and numerical clerk occupations

Arts, creative arts and humanities: the occupations of 2012 graduates

  • Fine arts 29.0% retail, catering, waiting and bar staff; 23.8% arts, design and media professionals
  • English 21.4% retail, catering, waiting and bar staff; 15.1% clerical, secretarial and numerical clerk occupations
  • History 21.1% retail, catering, waiting and bar staff; 15.7% clerical, secretarial and numerical clerk occupations
  • Media studies 26.7% retail, catering, waiting and bar staff; 18.5% arts, design and media professionals
  • Languages 15.3% business, HR and finance professionals; 15.2% retail, catering, waiting and bar staff
  • Performing arts 24.0% arts, design and media professionals; 23.5% retail, catering, waiting and bar staff

Business and administrative studies: types of jobs of 2012 graduates

  • Finance and accountancy 50.2% business, HR and finance professionals; 19.2% clerical, secretarial and numerical clerk occupations
  • Business and management 21.1% business, HR and finance professionals; 18.3% marketing, PR and sales professionals
  • Hospitality, leisure, tourism and transport 21.7% marketing, PR and sales; 20.3% retail, catering, waiting and bar staff
  • Marketing 45.3% marketing, PR and sales; 15.9% retail, catering, waiting and bar staff

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