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74% of graduates in Wales say going to university got them the job they wanted

31 Jul 2023 3 minute read
Research from Universities UK has highlighted the value of going to university

New data released today has revealed that 74% of Welsh graduates credit going to university with enabling them to find the job they wanted.

The research by Universities UK (UUK) also found that in an ongoing cost-of-living crisis, over half (56%) said that going to university has improved their job security, while 75% said the support they received at university helped them gain employment.

The research, based on the perspectives of 3,500 UK graduates and 3,500 UK business leaders revealed that 73% of graduates in Wales said going to university enabled them to build skills that have proved professionally valuable.

73% of graduates and 77% of business leaders in Wales said that going to university helped to build their self-confidence.

6 in 10 graduates (60%) and almost three quarters of business leaders (73%) in Wales also believe that going to university enables graduates to build vital transferable skills that help them in their career.

These findings are supported by the insight that over a quarter (29%) of graduates in Wales first gained employment through a direct connection to their university or degree course.

77% of Welsh business leaders say that going to university opened doors into relevant companies for them.

The research from UUK also outlines the broader impacts of going to university on gaining employment in Wales.

74% of graduates in Wales say they found their job/ role in under a year and 98% of Welsh business leaders say university graduates reach managerial positions faster, as a direct result of going to university.

According to the research, 62% of business leaders in Wales think graduates typically progress faster through the ranks of their business; a finding that could be linked to the insight that 71% also believe that going to university gives graduates good sector and industry knowledge.

88% of business leaders in Wales said they would expect to see graduate employees earn more than non-graduates after 3 years.


The research also found that mature students can also benefit financially from gaining a degree.

On average, business leaders in Wales expect previously non-graduate employees who obtain a degree relevant to their role to see an increase of 21% in earnings.

Professor Elizabeth Treasure, Chair of Universities Wales said: “Universities play a crucial role in our society, powering the economy and training the workforce of the future.

“This new research clearly demonstrates the value of a UK university education, both to graduates and to those who hire them and benefit from their skills.

“From job security and earnings, to career ambitions and social mobility, the benefits revealed by this research are numerous. Not only are our universities preparing graduates for the world of work, they are also teaching them crucial, transferable life skills that will serve them throughout their career.

“It’s clear to see that our universities play a powerful role in helping graduates to achieve their career ambitions and make a valuable contribution that can help return the UK economy to growth and continue to power our public services.”

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