numbersLooking beyond the current economic downturn, having a degree will help you to find a job, earn more, and do more in your career. There is compelling evidence that employers
increasingly demand more skilled workers.
Terence Perrin, Chairman of the Association of
Graduate Recruiters (AGR), comments on the
value of a university degree:

“There is no doubt that a university degree still has a very high currency with employers and a profound effect on a person’s earning potential over a lifetime. Our membership of over 800 organisations involved in graduate recruitment still attaches great value to a university education and has remained committed to recruiting graduate talent through the recession. A degree remains an extremely worthwhile investment.”(The cost of higher education vs the value of a degree, Terence Perrin, AGR Press Release, 19 August 2009. http://www.agr.org.uk)


Source: What do graduates do? 2017

An English degree lets you choose from many different employment sectors and occupations. Many English graduates follow careers in management or administration, either for a company or for the government.

Just the Numbers: for 2017 English graduates 6 months after graduation


Source: What do graduates do? 2017

Marketing, PR and sales and retail work are the next most common career destinations. A large number of graduates choose to work in a creative field, like writing, publishing, PR or acting. However, there is a huge amount of variety in English-graduate career choices: legal, financial, and sales positions are also popular.

Reading the Stats

Statistics about employment after graduation can be misleading. Immediately after their degree, many English students choose to take temporary jobs or to travel rather than entering a career. Because these choices show up in the charts as unemployment or low-level employment, it can look like it’s harder to get a good job than it really is – if you want one!

If you want to see how English graduates fare in comparison to other arts and humanities disciplines, have a look at the table below taken from data provided in What do Graduates Do? 2017, but remember that these statistics are collected only 6 months after graduation. If you are worried about unemployment, these figures show that for 2017 graduates 5.4% of English graduates were unemployed against the average for graduates across all disciplines of 5.1%. English fared second best, however, amongst all arts and humanities subjects (7.5% of Media Studies graduates and 6.6% of Fine Art graduates were unemployed for example.)

For has details about what English graduates do shortly after they graduate see this excerpt from What Do Graduates Do? 2017 What-do-English-graduates-do-2018-19, or you can visit the Prospects.ac.uk statistics page, the UK’s official graduate careers website.

While 2017 was the last year for DLHE data collection, this will be replaced with HESA’s
new Graduate Outcomes survey. The major change will be the shift to collecting data
15 months after graduation, to better represent graduate destinations.

Destinations of first degree arts, creative arts and humanities graduates from 2017,six months after graduation:
Numbers graduating (survey respondents) Entering employment Entering further study/ training Working and studying Unemployed at time of survey Other
Performing Arts 11090 71.3% 14.4% 6.0% 4.7% 3.6%
English 10840 57.1% 24.7% 7.8% 5.4% 5.0%
History 11205 53.7% 27.5% 6.9% 5.7% 6.3%
Media Studies 5770 74% 10.7% 3.8% 7.5% 4.1%
Modern Languages 8340 61.9% 21.0% 5.5% 5.6% 6.0%
Fine art 3525 66.8% 14.4% 6.3% 6.6% 5.9%
Design 12780 81.1% 5.9% 2.3% 6.3% 4.3%
All subjects 63550 66.6% 16.9% 5.50% 5.9% 5.0%

(Source = What do Graduates do? )

Next: English Graduates & Entrepreneurship