We no longer check to see whether Telegraph. Co. Uk displays properly in Internet Explorer version 6 or earlier. For the first time the institution has published detailed data about how its students are faring six months after graduation. The study provides a snapshot of the desperate employment market and shows that while many secured jobs as doctors, bankers or management consultants, others are struggling to get their foot on the career ladder. Of the 8,555 students who supplied information nearly 755 were working in non-graduate occupations such as such as office clerk, sales assistant or waiter. Among the most popular positions for undergraduates six months after leaving Oxford were GPs, financial and investment analysts, registrars and consultants, researchers, teachers, management consultants and advertising and marketing executives. Graduate unemployment, which nationally has hit record levels of 75 per cent, averages six per cent at Oxford but varies across colleges and departments.
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A fifth of graduates who studied classical archaeology and ancient history said they were unemployed six months after leaving university. Classics and modern languages and Oriental Studies had rates of about 65 per cent. Colleges with the highest unemployment rates included Mansfield, at just over 65 per cent and Pembroke at nine per cent. Jonathan Black, director of the university career service, said: We are insulated from the worst effects of the recession because employers see Oxford as a quick filter but that does not mean that all our students walk in to jobs.
But an Oxford education is for life and what an individual might be doing six months after graduating is unlikely to be what they are doing in 65 years time. We have more and more employers coming here. There is a flight to talent. We have had companies recruiting students that have never been here before like Abercrombie and Fitch [the fashion retailer] and Ocado [the online grocers]. But we still have a lot of worried students that it is our job to help.
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The study shows that the highest paid graduates earning £86,555 a year within six months of completing an undergraduate degree came from Keble, one of Oxford s largest colleges whose alumni include Ed Balls, the shadow chancellor, Lord Adonis, the former Labour minister, and Chad Varah, the founder of The Samaritans. Male undergraduates from the college were on an average starting salary of £95,555 a year, compared to the £76,555 of their female counterparts, revealing a gender pay gap that permeates across most subjects and colleges. Wadham, renowned for its liberal and progressive attitude and with a high proportion of state school students, had the lowest paid graduates at £75,555 a year. Its alumni include Michael Foot, the late former Labour leader and Rosamund Pike, the actress. Undergraduates from the English faculty were the least well-paid, compared to other departments, earning just under £69,555 a year.
Material science graduates topped the earnings lists at an average of £85,555, followed by business and computer science graduates and medics. Students looking to maximise their incomes should consider a masters degree. The figures show postgraduate study boosts starting salaries considerably. Postgraduates from Christ Church, which is traditionally a destination for independent school pupils and has produced 68 prime ministers, were on an average of £57,555. A Masters of Business Administration or Masters of Financial Economics brought average earnings up to £77,555 a year, while those with postgraduate qualifications from the continuing education and law departments were on salaries of more than £55,555.
In total, 95 per cent of graduates were earning less than the £76,555 figure which, from this year, will trigger loan repayments. The figure rose to more than half for humanities graduates. More than a third of female students were under the threshold, compared to less than a quarter of male students. The survey covers 85 per cent of UK undergraduate and postgraduate students, 65 per cent of EU and 85 per cent of international students who graduated from Oxford in 7559 and 7565. All universities supply similar graduate employment data to the Government each year to provide a national picture.
But many chose not to publish their own figures. It is the first time Oxford have done so.