UCT graduates remain highly sought after. This is the indisputable result of the graduate exit survey, which was completed with the May 2017 cohort.
Careers Services – based in the Centre for Higher Education Development – asked graduating students what they planned to do after obtaining their degree in May 2017.
Of the 4 350 students who attended the May graduation, 3 051 responded to the survey, constituting a robust response rate of 70.1%.
The numbers paint a clear picture. In it, high levels of employment are complemented by increased postgraduate enrolment.
Employment rates for UCT graduates remain consistently high. At an impressive 43%, the latest figure is no exception.
When broken down by faculty, this percentage reveals promising trends. An impressive 57.14% of graduates from the Faculty of Law were employed come May graduation. Students from the Faculty of Commerce fared similarly well, with an employment rate of 49.69%.
The faculties of Humanities and Science, which have higher numbers of students, had a slightly lower employment rate (30.61% and 19.32% respectively) but boast higher rates of students pursuing further study (47.07% and 59.66% respectively).
Of the UCT graduates already employed, 41.44% of them are earning a starting salary of over R20 000 per month. A further 16.05% are in the R15 001 to R20 000 bracket, and 11.81% earn between R12 001 and R15 000 per month.
The private sector is the leading employer of UCT graduates, providing for 62.19% of employed graduates. Next is government, which employs 16.74%.
The majority of graduates are employed in positions that are related to their fields of study, with 67.36% having listed their jobs as directly related to their studies, and 25.39% having listed their jobs as somewhat related to their studies.
Overall, the survey pointed to increased numbers at a postgraduate level.
Of the students graduating with undergraduate degrees, 43.52% were continuing their studies. And 25.26% of students obtaining postgraduate qualifications were also studying further.
This is a promising trend for a research-led university.
“Postgraduates are the engine room of research at UCT and are pivotal to our future success,” explains Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Internationalisation.
“UCT is committed to creating a research environment that enables young researchers from diverse backgrounds to develop their skills and make a meaningful contribution in whatever discipline they choose.”
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