Employment levels for UK doctoral graduates

The most detailed information on employment levels for doctoral graduates is available from the UK.

The data has been analysed as part of our What do researchers do? series.

Six months after graduation, around 80% of doctoral graduates are working (or working and studying) in the UK and over 10% overseas. Only around 3% are unemployed, which is lower than for those graduating with bachelor degrees. In follow-up surveys run three years later, the proportion working and/or studying is higher still (95%) and the percentage unemployed is below 2%.

Analysis of these surveys over time as the UK entered the recession shows that doctoral graduates fared better than those with lower degrees (i.e. more had jobs, and fewer were unemployed). This seems to suggest that the doctoral qualification provides some resilience in terms of employment.