The data analytics team at Jisc in partnership with Enterprise Educators UK and other higher education (HE) sector professionals have co-designed and released a new interactive dashboard suite for careers guidance staff, start-up support teams and university planners called discover graduate outcomes. This suite of data visualisations and analytical dashboards pull together the latest graduate data enabling year-on-year comparisons between 2017/18 and 2018/19 while also providing outstanding insight and sector benchmarking capability about what students do after graduation. Of particular interest is the inclusion of extensive graduate self-employment and freelance data from the Graduate Outcomes survey which has previously been sparse in the wider data landscape. In this blog, we look at the wealth of new data and insight available.
Creative subjects deliver high levels of self-employment
Analysis of the self-employment dashboards in discover graduate outcomes shows that the six subjects below deliver high proportions of self-employment for full-time, first-degree graduates. A pattern of interest is the volume of creative subjects that appear. Although the creative and cultural sector typically features a ‘short road to market’ for the self-employed (meaning starting up in this sector is often not as complicated or time consuming as others like healthcare or engineering), this data is also indicative of the fact that to work in this sector, self-employment is one of the major routes for a graduate. Prospective students aiming for self-employment could therefore consider the creative industries as viable study and career options.
|Subject||Proportion in self-employment*|
|3||Cinematics and photography||27%|
Graduates from ethnic minorities and males more likely to be running their own businesses
Further analysis of the self-employment data reveals trends in relation to gender and ethnicity. Full-time, first-degree male graduates were more likely to be in all forms of self-employment compared to female graduates including running their own business and developing a creative, artistic or professional portfolio. A higher proportion of graduates from ethnic minorities were running their own businesses compared to white graduates although the two groups performed similarly for the other forms of self-employment.
Eye catching statistics from analysis of the discover graduate outcomes self-employment and student characteristics dashboard:
- Black and minority ethnic (BME) graduates were more likely to be running their own business (2%) than white graduates (1%)*
- Male graduates were more likely to be running their own business (2%) than female graduates (1%)*
- Male graduates were more likely to be developing a creative, artistic or professional portfolio (4%) than female graduates (2%)*
- Male graduates were more likely to be in another form of self-employment or freelancing (4%) than female graduates (2%)*
The discover graduate outcomes dashboards give higher education providers the opportunity to determine whether these sector-wide trends are reflected in the same way locally and some dashboards include additional student characteristics such as disability, age and low participation neighbourhoods in easy-to-use lookups and visualisations. This is a level of detail rarely accessible in the past and can influence the strategic direction of enterprise education and start-up support in universities; particularly as they seek to close the gap between under-represented groups and the wider student body, while also looking at ways to support the creation of new graduate-level opportunities.
“Jisc’s new graduate dashboards deliver the best insight we’ve ever seen on self-employment.” Gareth Trainer, Director, EEUK and Head of Employability, Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, Newcastle University.
Culture, media and sports dominate self-employment and freelance work
The Freelancing and self-employment dashboard from discover graduate outcomes shows that approaching half (40%) of full-time, first-degree graduates in highly skilled freelancing or self-employment occupations worked in Culture, media and sports in 2018/19*. The next highest is way down at 13% showing how much one occupation group dominates the area*.
The running a business dashboard reveals that in 2018/19, almost a fifth (19%) of businesses being run by full-time, first-degree graduates were in the industries of wholesale and retail trades along with the repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles*. This suggests that graduates may view retail businesses as a good platform to begin and build their entrepreneurial careers.
Graduate entrepreneurship isn’t always linked directly to the subject of study, but most subjects involve the use of materials, equipment and goods so can be an obvious starting point for budding entrepreneurs; often with a view of bringing a better product or an innovative combination of existing devices to the market. It is also true that students have spending power, particularly in a social and recreation context, so providing new food or drink products, or leisure concepts are often the inspiration for new graduate businesses. As the self-employment dashboards can be filtered by subject, it is now possible to investigate how strong the connection is between degree studies and the entrepreneurial destination. This brings evidence into conversations that are often anecdotal.
A powerful, visual benchmarking tool
Discover graduate outcomes has been designed to make strategic benchmarking seamless. The overview dashboard example below (using synthetic data) pulls together key graduate metrics such as the percentage with positive outcomes and compares them with other providers in the sector. The overview dashboard also shows indicators that compare metrics to the previous year as well as quartile positioning in the sector. The filters in the top of the dashboard ensure that you get the exact group of graduates you need for meaningful analysis.
Above: An example graduate overview dashboard from discover graduate outcomes using synthetic data.
The latest insight on graduate movement, employment and further study
The dashboard suite uses maps to visualise the location of graduates as shown in the example below (again using synthetic data). This includes where in the UK they were recruited from to study, their study location and then where they went on to work after graduation. Such mobility insight has never been so accessible and offers instant big picture analysis. The insights also provide employment information relating to the basis of employment as well as top industries, occupations and subjects.
Above: An example providers, domiciles and employment dashboard from discover graduate outcomes using synthetic data.
Multiple years of trusted data to strengthen your analysis
Discover graduate outcomes includes the latest data from the 2018/19 Graduate Outcomes survey as well as the 2017/18 data for year-on-year benchmarking analysis. This trusted, reliable data over time allows you to be confident in your conclusions and resulting strategic goals. The year of data being analysed is shown in the top left of the dashboard as seen in the dashboard example below (using synthetic data).
Above: An example self-employment overview dashboard from discover graduate outcomes using synthetic data.
Subscribe to discover graduate outcomes
Contact the Jisc data analytics team to find out how you can subscribe to discover graduate outcomes. Let us know how you found us by picking EEUK Blog from the how did you hear about us field.
Higher education users will need access to Heidi Plus before being able to access this this dashboard suite. If your institution already subscribes to Heidi Plus but you don’t yet have a user account, please contact your Lead Contact who is usually located in your Planning Office.
If you’d like to enquire about subscribing to Heidi Plus as an organisation, you can call 0333 015 1170 or email Jisc’s Customer Success team.
Full list of dashboards contained within discover graduate outcomes dashboards:
- Graduate outcomes overview
- Employment overview
- Employment and student characteristics
- High skilled employment
- Employment destination
- Occupations and industries
- Providers, domiciles and employment
- Positive outcomes
- Outcomes and student characteristics
- Reflections and student characteristics
- Self-employment overview
- Self-employment and student characteristics
- Freelancing and self-employment
- Running a business
- Further study overview
- Further study and interim study
Above: A list of dashboards contained within discover graduate outcomes along with Jisc’s production partners.
*Information taken from the relevant dashboard from discover graduate outcomes at the time of writing. Data based on full-time, first-degree graduates in 2018/19 with any additional filters quoted in the statistic itself.
Authors – Matt Clarke, Content insight manager, Jisc and Gareth Trainer, Director, EEUK and Head of Employability, Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, Newcastle University.