Graduate Outcomes: Your Questions Answered

Written by Samantha Oates-Miller, Careers Insights and Graduate Support Assistant at the Careers Service

If you finished your course between May and July 2020, you only have until the end of November to complete the Graduate Outcomes survey.  

Not heard of it before? Read on to find out more about Graduate Outcomes, and how taking part can benefit you.

What is the Graduate Outcomes Survey?

The Graduate Outcomes Survey is the biggest annual social survey in the UK. All graduates who have completed a Higher Education course in the UK are asked about their time during and after University.  

The survey contains questions on how valuable you feel your degree is, what you’re doing now, how you made your career decisions, and how you use the skills you gained from your degree since graduating. There are also some option questions about how happy and satisfied you’re feeling with your career.  

How do I take part? 

The survey takes about 10-15 minutes to complete. Search your emails and texts for ‘Graduate Outcomes’ and click on the unique survey link to take part. The email will be from an @graduateoutcomes.ac.uk address. You can do it during your morning commute, lecture break or over a cup of coffee. You can also save and finish it later if you get interrupted.  

Who runs the Graduate Outcomes Survey? 

The survey is run by HESA – the Higher Education Statistic Agency. They are the official agency that collects, assures and disseminates data about higher education in the UK.  

Emails about the survey will come from Graduate Outcomes, but if you have consented to receive phone calls these may come from IFF Research on behalf of HESA – they will explain that they are calling on behalf of the University and that they are calling regarding Graduate Outcomes.  

How will my responses be used?  

Your responses will feed into datasets about different courses, faculties and universities in the UK. Approximately 400,000 2018/19 graduates filled out the survey last year. These statistics are used by policy makers, funding bodies, charities, journalists, researchers and others to understand the higher education sector and the state of the graduate labour market. Your responses also help the University to improve and promote its courses and student offerings. Finally, the Careers Service looks at the Graduate Outcomes responses to tailor careers support for students and graduates. 

How is my data protected? 

All data is held securely to both UK and international cyber security standards. It is shared with the bodies that have access as part of a large dataset and individuals are not identifiable. View the Graduate Outcomes Survey privacy notice for more information on how your data is stored.  

Why should I take part?

There are lots of benefits of completing the Graduate Outcomes survey. Here are 4:

  1. Taking part gives you the opportunity to use your voice, to let us know what graduate success looks like to you, whether that’s further study, using your skills, graduate level work or starting your own business.
  2. You can influence the future of Higher Education by taking the survey. Graduate Outcomes is of national significance, because it is used by policy makers, the government, charities, researchers and others to understand the Higher Education sector and the graduate labour market.
  3. Graduate Outcomes is used by current and future students to make careers decisions. By completing the survey, you’ll be helping others understand what it means to be a graduate by sharing your educational, employment or skill-based successes. This helps students make informed decisions and will have a direct impact on the future education and careers choices of prospective students.
  4. The University of Manchester uses the survey to review, improve and promote its courses and student offerings, and is used by the Careers Service to tailor careers support for students and graduates.

Is it compulsory? 

The survey is not compulsory and you can choose to opt out of GOS communications. To stop communications use the button at the bottom of any Graduate Outcomes emails sent to you.   

However, remember that by filling out the survey, you will help future students see where their degree could take them and help The University of Manchester promote and evaluate its courses. Several hundred thousand UK graduates fill out the survey each year, making it the biggest UK annual social survey.  

Where can I find out more? 

You can learn more about Graduate Outcomes from the information and playlist on our website. There are also FAQs for graduates on the Graduate Outcomes website.  

Got more questions? You can get in touch with the Careers Service via the queries button on CareerConnect. Just log in as a graduate, select queries from the top right, and then submit a new query. 

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