What are the unemployment rates for your degree subject?
2011-11-04 05:06 PMStatistics
We all have our preconceptions when it comes to the value of certain degrees. Engineers might sniff at media studies students, and parents might despair when their child opts to study history at university. But is sneering at arts-based subjects justified? Does engineering really offer great employment opportunities? Is a business studies degree a sure-fire route into the world of employment?
This is more uncomfortable than it looks
To help sort the wheat from the chaff, we’ve put together an infographic on the unemployment rates of university leavers by degree subject. The figures show the percentage of university leavers presumed unemployed six months after graduating in 2009. Take a look, you might be surprised…
The first thing to mention is that these figures only reflect unemployment rates of graduates six months after leaving university. The percentages also represent those ‘presumed’ unemployed. As with all HESA stats, they should be taken with pinch of salt. Take the same survey six months later and the unemployment rates are likely to be lower.
The big surprise is that computer science has such a high unemployment rate. With I.T. skills in demand across a range of sectors, why are computer science students still in the career ‘dole-drums’? It isn’t just a product of the recession: computer science has consistently ranked amongst one of the worst for employability rates. Perhaps a computer science degree might not encourage the development of soft skills, such as communication, to the same extent as other degrees like modern languages? Certain courses might be more theoretical than applicable to the working environment? Or are students simply holding out for that dream programming job with Google or Apple?
The miniscule figure for medicine and dentistry can be explained by the NHS, whilst things look pretty rosy for those with education, law, language and biological science degrees. Of course, the figures don’t reflect the kind of job a graduate has and also includes those with part-time jobs. If the study was on university leavers with a graduate level job, the statistics might look quite different. However, ultimately, it goes to show that sneering at people with humanities degrees might not be quite justified.
* Presumed unemployment rates six months after graduating from university.
Image courtesy of Matthew Hurst, 'Unemployed Graduate'