Some undergraduate degrees lead to a well-defined career path. Using Annual Population Survey data from 2006 to 2011, we find that in London 89% of architects who have a single-subject first degree studied architecture, building or planning. People who studied architecture, building or planning as their first degree worked predominantly in two sectors: architecture, engineering and related activities (45%), and construction (18%). Similarly, three-quarters of London’s legal professionals with single-subject first degrees studied law.
On the other hand, some undergraduate degrees are found to lead to careers in a variety of occupations and sectors. London residents who have studied business and administrative studies, for example, are employed in most sectors of the London economy. Less than one-fifth of London residents who studied creative arts and design subjects worked in the arts, entertainment and recreation sector in 2006-11.
The graph below shows the sectors of the London economy where people who studied business, architecture and creative arts were employed in 2006-11.
The analysis from the Annual Population Survey provides a snapshot of the current workforce, which includes people who finished their degrees several decades ago as well as recent graduates. For information on the activities of newly qualified graduates, please refer to the publications of the Higher Education Careers Services Unit.
Source: Office for National Statistics
This analysis refers only to people living in London who have an undergraduate degree in a single subject. People with degrees in combined subjects have been excluded because of definitional differences. Of all people resident in London who are known to have either a single-subject degree or combined degree, 94 per cent have single-subject degrees.
The category ‘Business and administrative studies’ includes subjects covering business studies, management, finance, accounting, marketing, human resources, office skills, tourism, transport and travel. The category ‘Creative arts and design’ includes subjects covering fine art, design studies, music, drama, dance, crafts and imaginative writing, cinematics and photography. Subject of single-subject degree is defined as variable SNGDEG (from 2004 onwards) in volume 5 of the Labour Force Survey user guidance.
Sectors are defined according to the UK Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) 2007.
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