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“A lot of government reform is focused on improving technical and vocational education, but this conversation rarely acknowledges the role in higher education in supplying a skilled workforce to vocational occupations,”
The research from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (Hefce) found that students on courses with strong vocational links were more likely to end up in well-paid, skilled jobs within six months of graduation.
Some highly prized disciplines, such as electronics and genetics, had lower than average transmission rates from campus to workplace, while others, such as landscape design and nutrition, were a far more reliable route to employment.
The study suggests that students who want a clear route from their degree into a related career should choose a subject with a high “occupations-subject concentration ratio” (OSCR), a figure calculated by the Hefce researchers.
Courses with the strongest vocational links also paid graduates the most, with researchers finding that each 0.01 improvement in the ratio was equivalent to an extra £79 a year.