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Engineering: Graduates

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL243, tabled on 21 October 2019

To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of undergraduates who studied engineering at university who now work in the engineering industry post-graduation.

Answered on

29 October 2019

Information on the destinations of students 6 months after leaving UK higher education is collected and published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) as part of the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey.

Latest statistics were published in June 2018 for students leaving their courses in the 2016/17 academic year, and are available at the following link:

As part of the DLHE survey, HESA records the Standard Occupation Classification category of those respondents who were in employment. Of the UK and EU-domiciled leavers from undergraduate courses in engineering who responded to the survey, and were in employment 6 months after graduating, 49.8% were estimated to be employed in roles categorised as ‘engineering professionals’.

The share of engineering leavers employed as ‘engineering professionals’ varies across engineering subjects. For that reason, a more detailed subject breakdown has been provided in the table.

Share of engineering leavers1 in engineering occupations2 six months after graduation

UK higher education institutions

2016/17 leavers

Engineering subject

Count3 of survey respondents in employment

Share of survey respondents employed as ‘engineering professionals’

General engineering



Civil engineering



Mechanical engineering



Aerospace engineering



Naval architecture



Electronic & electrical engineering



Production & manufacturing engineering



Chemical, process & energy engineering



Others in engineering



Total Engineering



Source: DfE Analysis of the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey

1. Graduates in engineering-based subjects have been defined using the principal categories H1 to H9 of the Joint Academic Coding System (JACS). More information on JACS codes can be found at the following link:

2. Graduates categorised as being in Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) group 212 are considered to be in the ‘Engineering Professionals’ category. More information on SOC DLHE codes can be found at the following link:

3. Counts are on the basis of full-person-equivalents. Where a student is studying more than one subject, they are apportioned between the subjects that make up their course.

4. Figures are rounded to the nearest 5.

Statistics about students leaving courses in the 2017/18 academic year will be published from HESA’s new Graduate Outcomes survey in April 2020. A key difference with this new survey is that employment activities will be measured 15 months after graduation, rather than after 6 months.