Snow gone? Check. Power and heating back on (don’t ask)? Check.
I guess we’re back then. Happy New Year everyone.
Budget cuts. They’re coming to the higher education sector and there is understandable a great deal of debate about the likely effects on students and universities. But apart from concerns from the unions about job losses, there doesn’t seem to have been much discussion of universities as employers.
And that’s a shame, because universities are very important employers. In many cities of the UK, the local university (or universities) is one of the largest employers, and in most cities it’s probably one of the top three graduate employers in terms of size (the NHS is usually the largest). Universities are large businesses and like all large businesses support a lot of employment.
In 2007/8, 4,885 graduates at all levels (not just first degree) were working in universities in the UK six months after graduation. Of those, a significant proportion, about one in six, were PhDs working as lecturers and researchers. There were also quite a lot of Masters graduate in similar roles. But there were also a lot of first degree (and other graduates), doing jobs as technicians, IT support, accounts, librarians, welfare and support officers, sports coaches, conference managers, HR and, yes, careers advisers, to name but a few professions. All told, when you take out the academics and associated researchers, the HE sector recruited give or take a few (it depends how you define ‘academic’. And ‘researchers’), about 2,850 new graduates from 2007/8. These are not academic or teaching roles, but they are important to provide students with the range of services they need and expect and to keep these very large organisations running.
Universities are significant employers of new graduates, and it’s important to remember that.