Results from the first Graduate Outcomes survey show OU graduates succeeding in the jobs market.
More than three-quarters (76%) of OU graduates in the 2017/18 academic year were employed or doing voluntary work between 2018 and 2019, according to a new Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) study.
The inaugural Graduate Outcomes survey also reveals that only 2% of OU graduates were unemployed in that period – less than the 5% average for all graduates across the higher education sector.
Of the OU graduates with jobs, 49% and 12% had full-time or part-time roles respectively when taking the survey between September 2018 and August 2019. A further 2% had voluntary or unpaid work, with 13% employed while also studying further.
Most OU graduates (83%) agreed or strongly agreed that their current activity – life or career situation – was meaningful. Meanwhile, 75% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that what they were doing at the time of the survey fitted with their future plans.
Of the respondents who graduated from the OU, 66% agreed or strongly agreed that they applied what they had learnt at university to their current activity.
The HESA survey explores respondents’ employment status, whether they consider themselves on track with their career and how university education has shaped their life post-study.
The data – which is in the testing phase and not fully developed, according to HESA – was gathered from graduates who completed a higher education course after August 2017 and finished studying at least 15 months before taking the survey. HESA will release more results for 2017/18 UK university graduates in July.
Liz Marr, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Students), attributes the positive feedback from OU graduates to the “significant investment” made in our Careers and Employability Services (CES) since 2017.
“It’s heartening to see many of our recent graduates in work, which shows how much UK employers value people with an OU degree or qualification,” she said.
“Our students not only receive a top-class education with employability embedded in the OU curriculum, but also expert advice and guidance to help them achieve their life goals.
“We provide that through CES, which gives students access to a range of services such as CV writing and personal development tools, careers advice, work placements and internships, and events where they can connect with leading employers.”
The support and resources for expanding CES came from the OU’s Enhanced Employability and Career Progression programme (EECP), which was launched in 2017 to assist students with their personal, professional and academic goals – one of the University’s key Student Success objectives.
More recently, EECP introduced a new Student Employability Strategy with several objectives under three themes: enhance student support and engagement, embed employability in the curriculum design, and deepen employer engagement.
OU students – and graduates for up to three years after graduation – have access to:
- OU Online TalentConnect – online careers fairs featuring organisations including Deloitte, E.ON, The National Trust and IBM
- Insight Days – virtual and in-person company visits
- Work placements such as virtual internships
- OpportunityHub – an online careers platform with job opportunities, links to hiring companies and tip and guides for people seeking employment
- Employability Framework – a resource for mapping employability skills in OU qualifications and for students to understand and talk about their attributes.
- FutureYOU – a personal development planning website for students on specific OU courses or modules.
Visit Employability Hub to discover more about employability at the OU, and/or email EECPemail@example.com with any queries.
Rob Morris is a journalist and comms expert with nearly 18 years’ experience. From 2007-11, he worked in Dubai as a features writer, editor and copywriter. More recently, Rob has worked in content marketing and communications. Away from work, he enjoys watching football, Netflix and his two young children causing chaos.