Positive Prospects: Careers for social science graduates and why number and data skills matter

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    Foreword

    The Campaign for Social Science was set up in 2011 by the Academy of Social Sciences, to inform public policy and engage in evidence-informed advocacy about the importance of the social sciences. The Academy has over 1,100 Fellows, eminent academics and practitioners in business, government and other walks of society. Forty-two learned societies are also members, so that the Academy represents over 90,000 social scientists working throughout the United Kingdom. The social scientists we represent range from those in traditional academic settings to many others working in government, the private sector and the third sector, all using their social science knowledge and skills in their work.

    The Campaign takes forward work not only to represent the social sciences, but is also concerned to promote the long-term health and well-being of the social science disciplines themselves. One of the Campaign’s long-standing aims is to promote social science education that will equip the next generation of researchers with number and data skills so that the social sciences can play their full part in the important issues facing the UK.

    This report is a contribution to that discussion. It shows that social science undergraduates have good employment prospects, even in the short-term after university. The findings build on previous work by the Campaign, published in 2013 that used 2010 data. But Positive Prospects uses updated data to take a more detailed look at employment destinations and outcomes for a range of social science disciplines. It also pulls together evidence about earnings. While there is variation among disciplines, and this report only examines destinations immediately after graduation, it shows that undergraduates in the social sciences generally have good employment prospects.

    However, Positive Prospects highlights another message too. If undergraduates have number and data skills – either acquired at schools or as part of their undergraduate studies – they are likely to have a wider range of choices and possibly to earn more. In other words, these skills add a dimension that is valued by employers. This is not, of course, to say that number and data skills are the only thing that matters, or that all social science undergraduates need the same level of such skills. But it does show that having these skills offers additional opportunities to those who have them. The Campaign for Social Science also believes that it is important for students from a wide range of disciplines to have these skills so that the full range of disciplinary perspectives can be brought to bear in important policy and public debates using social science evidence.

    Another important message in this report is that social science training and skills are in demand – often because they provide the appropriate level of rigour, subject-specific knowledge, conceptual thinking and intellectual curiosity that meets the needs of a fast changing labour market. Social scientists currently in the education pipeline will be able to blend what they know and how they think with other disciplines. These intersections are increasingly the hallmark of a future knowledge economy that will rely on technical mastery alongside critical thinking.

    This report was originally aimed at giving information useful to social science undergraduates and to school students considering studying social sciences in their undergraduate years. With the recent announcement of the Government’s review of higher education, it will also undoubtedly be relevant to debates about employment prospects after university. The findings here will challenge presentations of an over-simplified picture of employment prospects by discipline, since the report gives some indication of just how many factors come into play, and how there is variation in STEM subjects as well as the social sciences.

    The Campaign wishes to thank SAGE Publishing for their support and for publishing this report. We have also produced summaries for schools and school students, and for undergraduates. We will look forward to further discussion about the issues raised by the report with diverse audiences, including learned societies, universities, policy-makers and others.

    Professor Shamit Saggar CBE FAcSSChair, Campaign for Social Science

    Acknowledgements

    The Campaign for Social Science would like to thank SAGE Publishing for their support in making this report possible.

    We also thank the staff at the Higher Education Statistics Agency for their help in providing the data and for providing guidance about their use.

  • Detailed Median Earnings

    Figure 26 Median Earnings of Full-Time UK Graduates, 2015/1686

    Figure 27 Median Earnings of Full-Time UK Social Science Graduates, 2015/1687

    Figure 28 Median Earnings of UK-Domiciled First-Degree Graduates in 2003/04 from English Universities, Over Time and by Subject88

    Endnotes

    1 The proportion is 37%, which represents the proportion of full-time, first-time social science degree leavers from all UK HE providers and was calculated from principal subject data provided by HESA from the Destinations of Leavers Survey and Student Record 2015/16. Social Sciences total includes psychology (C8) graduates.

    2 Bastow, S., Dunleavy, P. and Tinkler, J. (2014). The Impact of the Social Sciences: How Academics and their Research Make a Difference. London: Sage, p. 4. See pp. 3–6 for a more detailed discussion of their complete definition of ‘social science’, and what disciplines and fields may be considered to be ‘social science’.

    3 For the purposes of this report, we consider the social sciences to include the following broad subject areas from the Joint Academic Coding System (JACS) 3.0 classification system, in line with those included in Main Panel C covering social science for the Research Excellence Framework: Architecture, building & planning (JACS subject area code A, which includes principal subject codes K0, K1, K2, K3, K4, and K9); Social studies (JACS subject area code B, which includes principal subject codes L0, L1, L2, L3, L4, L5, L6, L7, L8, and L9); Law (JACS subject area code C, which includes principal subject codes M0, M1, M2, and M9); Business & administrative studies (JACS subject area code D, which includes principal subject codes N0, N1, N2, N3, N4, N5, N6, N7, N8, and N9); and Education (JACS subject area code I, which includes principal subject codes X0, X1, X2, X3, and X9). Wherever we had access to data at the more detailed ‘principal subject’ level, we have also included data on psychology graduates (JACS code principal subject code C8) within the total for social science. However, it should be noted that it was not always possible to do this, as HESA and JACS includes psychology graduates within their total figures for ‘science’ subjects, as it sits under the JACS subject area code 3 for the biological sciences. As a result, not all percentages/tables in this report will be fully comparable between figures. But we have noted each instance throughout the report where psychology graduates could not be included within the totals for social science, allowing for comparison across figures where possible. Information on the JACS classification system used by HESA is available at: https://www.hesa.ac.uk/support/documentation/jacs/jacs3-principal.

    4 ‘What do social science graduates do?’, 2013, Campaign for Social Science, https://campaignforsocialscience.org.uk/graduates-main/; Mason, G., Nathan, M. and Rosso, A. (2015). State of the Nation: A Review of Evidence on the Supply and Demand of Quantitative Skills. London: British Academy and NIESR.

    5 ‘What do social science graduates do?’, 2013, Campaign for Social Science, https://campaignforsocialscience.org.uk/graduates-main/.

    6 New AS and A levels in Mathematics and Further Mathematics were introduced in September 2017, but evidence from subjects decoupled earlier strongly indicate that AS level intake is falling in many subjects across the board, as a result of AS levels being decoupled from A levels. See: http://educationdatalab.org.uk/2016/08/a-level-results-day-2016-the-key-trends-in-four-charts/, and https://educationdatalab.org.uk/2017/08/a-level-results-day-2017-the-key-trends-in-three-charts/.

    7 The ‘other sciences’ include the following subject areas from the JACS classification system, comprising both medicine and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths) subjects: (1) Medicine & dentistry; (2) Subjects allied to medicine; (3) Biological sciences; (4) Veterinary science; (5) Agriculture & related subjects; (6) Physical sciences; (7) Mathematical sciences; (8) Computer science; and (9) Engineering & technology. Again, where information was made available at a more detailed level, we have subtracted figures on psychology from the broader JACS category of the biological sciences. The arts & humanities include the following subject areas from the JACS classification system: (1) Mass communications & documentation; (2) Languages; (3) Historical & philosophical studies; and (4) Creative arts & design. Information on the JACS classification system used by HESA is available at: https://www.hesa.ac.uk/support/documentation/jacs/jacs3-principal.

    8 Figures include UK and other EU-domiciled full-time, first-degree graduates from UK institutions, and were calculated from principal subject data provided by HESA from the Destinations of Leavers Survey and Student Record 2015/16. Proportions calculated based on the total of those in a known destination. Social Sciences total includes psychology (C8) graduates.

    9 Figures include UK and other EU-domiciled full-time, first-degree graduates from UK institutions, and were calculated from principal subject data provided by HESA from the Destinations of Leavers Survey and Student Record 2015/16. Proportions calculated based on the total of those in a known destination. Social Sciences total includes psychology (C8) graduates.

    10 Figures include UK and other EU-domiciled full-time, first-degree graduates from UK institutions, and were calculated from principal subject data provided by HESA from the Destinations of Leavers Survey and Student Record 2015/16. Proportions calculated based on the total of those in a known destination. Social Sciences total includes psychology (C8) graduates. It should be noted that only graduates in the veterinary, medical, or allied fields do significantly better on this measure. The percentage of graduates in employment or further study in medicine & dentistry is 99%, in subjects allied to medicine it is 96%, and in veterinary science it is 97%. Source: HESA Destination of Leavers from Higher Education in the United Kingdom for the Academic Year 2015/16, Table 6a – Destinations of full-time, first-degree leavers by sex, activity and subject area 2011/12 to 2015/16. Available at: https://www.hesa.ac.uk/news/29-06-2017/sfr245-destinations-of-leavers.

    11 Figures include UK and other EU-domiciled full-time, first-degree graduates from UK institutions, and were calculated from principal subject data provided by HESA from the Destinations of Leavers Survey and Student Record 2015/16. Proportions calculated based on the total of those in a known destination. Social Sciences total includes psychology (C8) graduates.

    12 Figures represent those in both UK and overseas work as a proportion of the total of those in a known destination. Please note that we did not have access to figures for psychology by gender, so psychology is not included here in the total figures for the social sciences, but is for STEM. Source: HESA Destination of Leavers from Higher Education in the United Kingdom for the Academic Year 2015/16, Table 6a – Destinations of full-time, first-degree leavers by sex, activity and subject area 2011/12 to 2015/16. Available at: https://www.hesa.ac.uk/news/29-06-2017/sfr245-destinations-of-leavers.

    13 Figures represent all UK-domiciled first-degree graduates from English HEIs in the 2004/05 graduating cohort, and do not include psychology graduates. Data sourced from: Employment and Earnings Outcomes of Higher Education Graduates: Experimental Data from the Longitudinal Education Outcomes (LEO) Dataset, SFR60/2016, Table 1c, Department of Education.

    14 Figures include UK and other EU-domiciled full-time, first-degree graduates from UK institutions, and were calculated from principal subject data provided by HESA from the Destinations of Leavers Survey and Student Record 2015/16. Proportions calculated based on the total of those in a known destination. Data for psychology (C8) graduates provided and are therefore subtracted from STEM totals.

    15 Figures include UK and other EU-domiciled full-time, first-degree graduates from UK institutions, and were calculated from principal subject data provided by HESA from the Destinations of Leavers Survey and Student Record 2015/16. Proportions calculated based on the total of those in a known destination.

    16 Figures include UK and other EU-domiciled full-time, first-degree graduates from UK institutions, and were calculated from principal subject data provided by HESA from the Destinations of Leavers Survey and Student Record 2015/16. Proportions calculated based on the total of all graduates surveyed (including those in an unknown destination). Social Sciences total includes psychology (C8) graduates.

    17 Figures include UK and other EU-domiciled full-time, first-degree graduates from UK institutions, and were calculated from principal subject data provided by HESA from the Destinations of Leavers Survey and Student Record 2015/16. Proportions calculated based on the total of all graduates surveyed (including those in an unknown destination).

    18 Figures include UK and other EU-domiciled full-time, first-degree graduates from UK institutions, and were calculated from principal subject data provided by HESA from the Destinations of Leavers Survey and Student Record 2015/16. Proportions calculated based on the total of all graduates surveyed (including those in an unknown destination). Social Sciences total includes psychology (C8) graduates.

    19 Figures include UK and other EU-domiciled full-time, first-degree graduates from UK institutions, and were calculated from principal subject data provided by HESA from the Destinations of Leavers Survey and Student Record 2015/16. Proportions calculated based on the total of all graduates surveyed (including those in an unknown destination).

    20 The report defines ‘successful leaders as those who are in positions of influence within their organisation and their sectors more broadly’. British Council (2015). The Educational Pathways of Leaders: An International Comparison. London: British Council and Ipsos Public Affairs, p. 4.

    21 Please note: In their report, the British Council separated what they defined as Social Studies (Anthropology, Communications, Economics, International Relations, Political Science, Psychology, and Law) from Business Fields (Business, Management, and Marketing) and Education (Education, English as a Second Language, and Pedagogy). For our purposes, we group all of these together for a total social sciences count and, as in the rest of this report, we consider Business & Management and Education to be part of the social sciences. See: British Council (2015). The Educational Pathways of Leaders: An International Comparison, p. 8.

    22 This total figure for politicians breaks down to 57% from ‘social sciences’ graduates and 4% from ‘business’ graduates according to the breakdown in the British Council report terminology. See: British Council (2015). The Educational Pathways of Leaders: An International Comparison, p. 15.

    23 This total figure for civil servants breaks down to 55% from ‘social sciences’ graduates and 7% from ‘business’ graduates according to the breakdown in the British Council report terminology. For financial services and consulting it is 42% social sciences and 28% business, and for law and legal services it is 89% social sciences and 4% business graduates. See: British Council (2015). The Educational Pathways of Leaders: An International Comparison, p. 15.

    24 This total figure for energy and environment breaks down to 20% from ‘social sciences’ graduates and 30% from ‘business’ graduates according to the breakdown in the British Council report terminology. For technology and innovation it is 29% social sciences and 17% business, for health it is 22% social science and 18% business, and for defence and security it is 19% social sciences and 16% business graduates. See: British Council (2015). The Educational Pathways of Leaders: An International Comparison, p. 15.

    25 Data sourced from Table 4 of the British Council report (2015). The Educational Pathways of Leaders: An International Comparison, p. 8.

    26 British Council (2015). The Educational Pathways of Leaders: An International Comparison.

    27 The median salary is the middle value between the highest and lowest salaries reported. We use the median salary rather than the mean salary, which represents the arithmetic average salary, because, as HESA notes, the mean ‘could be skewed by a few abnormally high or low values. The median takes the middle value and is therefore less affected by very high or low salaries.’ Source: HESA Destination of Leavers from Higher Education in the United Kingdom for the Academic Year 2015/16, Table 10.

    28 Source: HESA Destination of Leavers from Higher Education in the United Kingdom for the Academic Year 2015/16, Table 10. Please note that figures are for UK-domiciled full-time first degree leavers of UK higher educations institutions only.

    29 Figures include UK and other EU-domiciled full-time, first-degree graduates from UK institutions, and were calculated from principal subject data provided by HESA from the Destinations of Leavers Survey and Student Record 2015/16.

    30 Britton, J., Dearden, L., Shepard, N. and Vignoles, A. (2016). How English Domiciled Graduate Earnings Vary with Gender, Institution Attended, Subject, and Socioeconomic Background. Institute for Fiscal Studies, IFS Working Paper W16/06, p. 26.

    31 Britton, Dearden, Shepard and Vignoles (2016). How English Domiciled Graduate Earnings Vary with Gender, Institution Attended, Subject, and Socioeconomic Background, p. 26.

    32 Britton, Dearden, Shepard and Vignoles (2016). How English Domiciled Graduate Earnings Vary with Gender, Institution Attended, Subject, and Socioeconomic Background, p. 39.

    33 Britton, Dearden, Shepard and Vignoles (2016). How English Domiciled Graduate Earnings Vary with Gender, Institution Attended, Subject, and Socioeconomic Background, p. 39.

    34 Data cover UK-domiciled first-degree graduates from English HEIs only for the graduating cohort 2003/04 and tax years 2005/06 to 2014/15. Self-assessment data are not included. Source: Longitudinal Education Outcomes (LEO) Dataset, Table 1c: Activity of graduates by subject and sex. Part of: Statistics on Higher Education Graduate Employment and Earnings, Higher Education Participation, and Data Collection and Statistical Returns. UK Department for Education, released: 4 August 2016. Available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/graduate-outcomes-longitudinal-education-outcomes-leo-data.

    35 Data cover UK-domiciled first-degree graduates from English HEIs only for the graduating cohort 2003/04 and tax years 2005/06 to 2014/15. Earnings are reported in nominal figures (not adjusted for inflation), are rounded to the nearest £500 and have ‘been weighted by full person equivalent (FPE)’. Earnings are also based on PAYE, and self-assessment data are not included, thus the data ‘do not reflect employment outcomes for those who are self-employed’. For more information on how the data are reported, see: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/573831/SFR60_2016_LEO_main_text_v1.1.pdf. For the source of the data itself, see: Longitudinal Education Outcomes (LEO) Dataset, Table 1c: Activity of graduates by subject and sex. Part of: Statistics on Higher Education Graduate Employment and Earnings, Higher Education Participation, and Data Collection and Statistical Returns. UK Department for Education, released: 4 August 2016. Available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/graduate-outcomes-longitudinal-education-outcomes-leo-data.

    36 Data cover UK-domiciled first-degree graduates from English HEIs only for the graduating cohort 2003/04 and tax years 2005/06 to 2014/15. Self-assessment data are not included. Source: Longitudinal Education Outcomes (LEO) Dataset, Table 1c: Activity of graduates by subject and sex. Part of: Statistics on Higher Education Graduate Employment and Earnings, Higher Education Participation, and Data Collection and Statistical Returns. UK Department for Education, released: 4 August 2016. Available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/graduate-outcomes-longitudinal-education-outcomes-leo-data.

    37 Measured impact of going to Russell Group universities is likely to arise partly because they are more selective in their entry requirements; partly because of the standard of education they offer; and partly because of their general reputation among employers.

    38 The Russell Group universities are: the University of Birmingham, the University of Bristol, the University of Cambridge, Cardiff University, University of Durham, the University of Edinburgh, the University of Exeter, the University of Glasgow, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, King’s College London, the University of Leeds, the University of Liverpool, London School of Economics and Political Science, the University of Manchester, University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, University of Nottingham, the University of Oxford, Queen Mary University of London, the Queen’s University of Belfast, the University of Sheffield, the University of Southampton, University College London, the University of Warwick and the University of York.

    39 Figures include UK and other EU-domiciled full-time, first-degree graduates from UK institutions, and were calculated from principal subject data provided by HESA from the Destinations of Leavers Survey and Student Record 2015/16.

    40 Britton et al. provide a deeper analysis of 17 of the 23 Russell Group universities, with some not being included either because they did not provide the needed permissions or because the sample of relevant students was too small to be relevant to the statistical analysis. See: Britton, Dearden, Shepard and Vignoles (2016). How English Domiciled Graduate Earnings Vary with Gender, Institution Attended, Subject, and Socioeconomic Background, p. 17.

    41 Britton, Dearden, Shepard and Vignoles (2016). How English Domiciled Graduate Earnings Vary with Gender, Institution Attended, Subject, and Socioeconomic Background, pp. 31–36.

    42 This is a reproduction of Figure 9 in Britton et al. (2016). As they highlight, it shows: ‘Unconditional female 20th, 50th and 90th percentile earnings for the 1999 cohort in 2012/13 for HEPs ranked on their graduates’ 2012/13 median earnings. There are 166 different institutions included, and one “other” institution which include several hundred institutions that issue only a handful of loans. Note: The log scale is not used here. Zeros are included.’ Britton, Dearden, Shepard and Vignoles (2016). How English Domiciled Graduate Earnings Vary with Gender, Institution Attended, Subject, and Socioeconomic Background, p. 32.

    43 This is a reproduction of Figure 11 in Britton et al. (2016). As they highlight, it shows: ‘Unconditional male 20th, 50th and 90th percentile earnings for the 1999 cohort in 2012/13 for HEPs ranked on their graduates’ 2012/13 median earnings. There are 168 different institutions included, and one “other” institution which include several hundred institutions that issue only a handful of loans. Note: The log scale is not used here. Zeros are included.’ Britton, Dearden, Shepard and Vignoles (2016). How English Domiciled Graduate Earnings Vary with Gender, Institution Attended, Subject, and Socioeconomic Background, p. 34.

    44 Britton, Dearden, Shepard and Vignoles (2016). How English Domiciled Graduate Earnings Vary with Gender, Institution Attended, Subject, and Socioeconomic Background, p. 39.

    45 Britton, Dearden, Shepard and Vignoles (2016). How English Domiciled Graduate Earnings Vary with Gender, Institution Attended, Subject, and Socioeconomic Background, p. 37.

    46 British Academy (2017). The Right Skills: Celebrating Skills in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, pp. 9–11. Available from: https://www.britac.ac.uk/node/8554.

    47 See Mason, Nathan and Rosso (2015). State of the Nation: A Review of Evidence on the Supply and Demand of Quantitative Skills.

    48 See Mason, Nathan and Rosso (2015). State of the Nation: A Review of Evidence on the Supply and Demand of Quantitative Skills, p. 10.

    49 CEBR (February 2016). Report for SAS: The Value of Big Data and the Internet of Things to the UK Economy, p. 6. Available at: https://www.sas.com/content/dam/SAS/en_gb/doc/analystreport/cebr-value-of-big-data.pdf.

    50 CEBR (February 2016). Report for SAS: The Value of Big Data and the Internet of Things to the UK Economy, p. 6. Available at: https://www.sas.com/content/dam/SAS/en_gb/doc/analystreport/cebr-value-of-big-data.pdf.

    51 Mason, Nathan and Rosso (2015). State of the Nation: A Review of Evidence on the Supply and Demand of Quantitative Skills.

    52 See, for example, Campaign for Social Science (2017). The Health of People: How the Social Sciences Can Improve Population Health. Available at: https://campaignforsocialscience.org.uk/healthofpeople/.

    53 See Hartley, S. (2017). The Fuzzy and the Techie: Why the Liberal Arts Will Rule the Digital World. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; and Kuchler, H. (2017); How Silicon Valley Learned to Love the Liberal Arts. Financial Times, November 1.

    54 https://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/nov/17/fake-news-google-funding-fact-checking-us-election.

    55 Hartley, S. (2017). The Fuzzy and the Techie: Why the Liberal Arts Will Rule the Digital World, p. 17.

    56 Hartley, S. (2017). The Fuzzy and the Techie: Why the Liberal Arts Will Rule the Digital World, p. 12.

    57 According to Mason et al., there is a ‘strong employer demand for QS [in the UK] (in conjunction with other skills), with several indicators that the currently available supply of QS may be insufficient to meet demand’. Mason, Nathan and Rosso (2015). State of the Nation: A Review of Evidence on the Supply and Demand of Quantitative Skills.

    58 Mason, Nathan and Rosso (2015). State of the Nation: A Review of Evidence on the Supply and Demand of Quantitative Skills.

    59 Mason, Nathan and Rosso (2015). State of the Nation: A Review of Evidence on the Supply and Demand of Quantitative Skills.

    60 Data sourced from Table 3.2 ‘Highest level of quantitative skills used in jobs, 20–60 year olds, 1997, 2001, 2006 and 2012, population weighted’, in Mason, Nathan and Rosso (2015). State of the Nation: A Review of Evidence on the Supply and Demand of Quantitative Skills, p. 30.

    61 Mason, Nathan and Rosso (2015). State of the Nation: A Review of Evidence on the Supply and Demand of Quantitative Skills.

    62 CBI (July 2017). Helping the UK Thrive: CBI/Pearson Education and Skills Survey 2017. London: Pearson, p. 8.

    63 CBI (July 2017). Helping the UK Thrive: CBI/Pearson Education and Skills Survey 2017, p. 29.

    64 CBI (July 2016). The Right Combination: CBI/Pearson Education and Skills Survey 2016. London: Pearson, p. 32.

    65 According to Hodgen et al., these categories may be defined as follows: ‘High demand. Subjects for which a level 3 mathematics qualification, usually A or AS level, is in most cases essential. Subject Groups: Engineering and technology, Mathematical sciences, Physical sciences. Medium demand. Subjects which need mathematics, but where the demands are usually not as high as for the high demand subjects. In many cases the primary need is for statistics and the ability to analyse and interpret data. Subject Groups: Agriculture and related subjects, Architecture, building and planning, Biological sciences, Business and administrative studies, Computer science, Education, Medicine and dentistry, Social studies, Subjects allied to medicine, Veterinary science. Low demand. Subjects with generally low mathematical demands. Subject Groups: Combined/general subjects, Creative arts and design, Historical and philosophical studies, Languages, Law, Mass communications and documentation.’ Hodgen, J., Adkins, M. and Tomei, A. (2017). The Mathematical Backgrounds of Undergraduates: Interim Report. Nottingham: University of Nottingham.

    66 Table created using data and concepts from: Hodgen, Adkins and Tomei (2017). The Mathematical Backgrounds of Undergraduates: Interim Report. According to Hodgen et al., these data cover the ‘mathematical attainment for all honours students from the English GSCE cohort of 2007/2008, who completed A-level between 2008/2009 and 2010/2011’ (pp. 4 & 5).

    67 Data sourced from Table 8: Proportion of undergraduate intake with A level mathematics, by degree subject, in Hillman, J. (2014). Mathematics after 16: The State of Play, Challenges, and Ways Ahead. London: Nuffield Foundation, p. 22. Please note: Hillman’s data are based on 2007 and 2010 UCAS data for UK-domiciled higher education applicants. Scotland is not covered by these data.

    68 This graph uses new data to update a graph (Figure 2) originally created by Hillman in Hillman (2014). Mathematics after 16: The State of Play, Challenges, and Ways Ahead, p. 9. New data are sourced from https://www.jcq.org.uk/examination-results/a-levels/. Scotland is not covered by these data.

    69 The 2017 Autumn Budget states that ‘The government will … reward schools and colleges who support their students to study maths by giving them £600 for every extra pupil who decides to take Maths or Further Maths A levels or Core Maths – with over £80 million available initially, and no cap on numbers.’ See Section 5.8, Autumn Budget 2017, HM Treasury. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/autumn-budget-2017-documents/autumn-budget-2017.

    70 Noyes, A. and Adkins, M. (2017). Rethinking the Value of Advanced Mathematics Participation (REVAMP). Nottingham: University of Nottingham.

    71 Although it should be noted that the actual increase in earnings an individual student might realise for an A level maths qualification on estimate ‘varies between 2 and 21% of income[, …] dependent upon a range of other factors’. Noyes and Adkins (2017). Rethinking the Value of Advanced Mathematics Participation (REVAMP).

    72 Noyes and Adkins (2017). Rethinking the Value of Advanced Mathematics Participation (REVAMP).

    73 This is a reproduction of Figure 1 in Britton et al. (2016). As they highlight, it shows: ‘Quantiles of female earnings for the 1999 cohort from three subjects compared to the quantiles for all female graduates. No control variables are used for intake. Discrete points are taken from the distribution, at the 10th, 20th… 90th, 95th quantiles, with linear interpolation in between. This may give the impression of understating the share with zero earnings, for example. Scatter points to the right of each Figure show the corresponding mean for each case (the horizontal positioning of the dots is entirely random, this added jitter makes the dots easier to read). Note earnings are displayed on a log scale.’ Britton, Dearden, Shepard and Vignoles (2016). How English Domiciled Graduate Earnings Vary with Gender, Institution Attended, Subject, and Socioeconomic Background, p. 22.

    74 This is a reproduction of Figure 2 in Britton et al. (2016). As they highlight, it shows: ‘Quantiles of male earnings for the 1999 cohort for three subjects compared to the quantiles for all male graduates. No control variables are used for intake. Discrete points are taken from the distribution, at the 10th, 20th… 90th, 95th quantiles, with linear interpolation in between. This may give the impression of understating the share with zero earnings, for example. Scatter points to the right of each Figure show the corresponding mean for each case (the horizontal positioning of the dots is entirely random, this added jitter makes the dots easier to read). Note earnings are displayed on a log scale.’ Britton, Dearden, Shepard and Vignoles (2016). How English Domiciled Graduate Earnings Vary with Gender, Institution Attended, Subject, and Socioeconomic Background, p. 24.

    75 Noyes and Adkins (2017). Rethinking the Value of Advanced Mathematics Participation (REVAMP).

    76 Noyes and Adkins (2017). Rethinking the Value of Advanced Mathematics Participation (REVAMP).

    77 Adkins, M. and Noyes, A. (2016). Reassessing the economic value of advanced level mathematics. British Education Journal, 42 (1): 93–116.

    78 The groupings of subjects by level of quantitative skill is borrowed from Hodgen, Adkins and Tomei (2017). The Mathematical Backgrounds of Undergraduates: Interim Report.

    79 Source: HESA Table 6a – Destinations of full-time first-degree leavers by sex, activity and subject area 2011/12 to 2015/16.

    80 Sloane, P. and O’Leary, J. (June 2004). The Return to a University Education in Great Britain. IZA DP No. 1199, Discussion Paper Series. IZA – Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit (Institute for the Study of Labour).

    81 Data for tables sourced from Tables 6 and 7 in Sloane and O’Leary (June 2004). The Return to a University Education in Great Britain. IZA DP No. 1199, Discussion Paper Series. IZA – Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit (Institute for the Study of Labour).

    82 See, for example, some of the many studies cited in Selingo, Jeffrey (2017). Six Myths about Choosing a College Major, The New York Times, November 3. Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/03/education/edlife/choosing-a-college-major.html?hpw&rref=education&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=well-region&region=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well&_r=0

    83 Per note 67 above, see Section 5.8, Autumn Budget 2017, HM Treasury. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/autumn-budget-2017-documents/autumn-budget-2017.

    84 Nuffield Foundation (2012). Mathematics in A Level Assessments: A Report on the Mathematical Content of A Level Assessments in Business Studies, Computing, Economics, Geography, Psychology and Sociology. London: Nuffield Foundation.

    85 Smith Review of Post-16 Mathematics (20 July 2017). Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/smith-review-of-post-16-maths-report-and-government-response.

    86 Source: HESA Destination of Leavers from Higher Education in the United Kingdom for the Academic Year 2015/16, Table 10.

    87 Figures include UK and other EU-domiciled full-time, first-degree graduates from UK institutions, and were calculated from principal subject data provided by HESA from the Destinations of Leavers Survey and Student Record 2015/16. Data for psychology (C8) graduates included.

    88 Please note, these data cover UK-domiciled first-degree graduates from English HEIs only for the graduating cohort 2003/04 and tax years 2005/06 to 2014/15. Self-assessment data are not included. Source: Longitudinal Education Outcomes (LEO) Dataset, Table 1c: Activity of graduates by subject and sex. Part of: Statistics on Higher Education Graduate Employment and Earnings, Higher Education Participation, and Data Collection and Statistical Returns. UK Department for Education, released: 4 August 2016. Available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/graduate-outcomes-longitudinal-education-outcomes-leo-data.

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