Insight and analysis from the UK’s largest higher education survey, including subject-by-subject data, commentary and analysis by AGCAS and an introduction by Charlie Ball

Key findings

What do graduates do? 2018/19 reveals a graduate labour market in relatively good health. Of the 254,495 UK-domiciled first-degree graduates who responded to the survey:

  • 74.3% of graduates were in employment six months after graduating.
  • Only 5.1% were unemployed – the lowest rate since the 1979 survey.
  • 73.9% of employed graduates were in a professional-level job (up from 71.4%).
  • 21.5% of graduates went on to full- or part-time further study.
  • The average salary for graduates in full-time employment in the UK was £22,399.

What’s inside

The reportincludes insights from careers experts as well as detailed subject overviews revealing the destinations of graduates in:

  • business and administrative studies
  • creative arts
  • humanities
  • science
  • social sciences
  • technology, engineering, and maths.

It also includes an overview of the graduate labour market in 2018 by Prospects’ head of higher education intelligence, Charlie Ball.

About the report

What do graduates do? 2018/19 was published in October 2018. It examines first-degree graduate destinations six months after graduation.

The data is from the Higher Education Statistics Agency’s Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) 2016/17 survey and is produced by Prospects and AGCAS on behalf of HECSU.

To buy a printed copy for £14.95, email


As a careers adviser and information specialist with 30 years’ experience, I cannot rate What do graduates do? highly enough. It forms an essential part of my toolkit.

– Hilary Nickell, project manager at Career Companion.

With over 300,000 students graduating from a vast array of courses and institutions every year, the UK graduate market is complex. WDGD is a key resource to help employers build their student recruitment strategies.

-Stephen Isherwood, chief executive of the Institute of Student Employers (ISE).

What do graduates do? provides a concise and informative overview of UK graduate destinations by subject area and is an invaluable resource for supporting both learners thinking about progressing on to higher education as well as undergraduate students planning their next steps.

– Andrew Jones, deputy director and IAG specialist at Linking London.

What do graduates do? is an essential resource for higher education providers and employers. Heavily influencing aspects of our work, the publication not only informs best practice through the student pathway but also on attracting and supporting students from diverse background.

– Terry Manyeh, Educating ALL project lead.

Previous reports

  • What do graduates do? 2017 (PDF, 2.9MB)
  • What do graduates do? 2016 (PDF, 2.1MB)
  • What do graduates do? 2015 (PDF, 1.5MB)
  • What do graduates do? 2014 (PDF, 11.9MB)
  • What do graduates do? 2013 (PDF, 4.9MB)

Regional edition

This edition of What do graduates do? studies graduate destinations on a region-by-region basis, with data, analysis and commentary for every part of the UK.

  • What do graduates do? Regional edition 2019/20

Written by

Photo: Laura Greaves

Laura Greaves

Information analyst

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