An Evaluation of Performance Indicators based upon the First Destination of University Graduates

Jim Taylor, Jill Johnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)


This paper evaluates various performance indicators based upon the First Destination Record. These indicators purport to measure the success or otherwise of graduates in different degree subjects in obtaining a satisfactory first destination after their graduation. It is important to evaluate these indicators of the graduate labour market since they are used by potential entrants into higher education and by those charged with controlling resource allocation in this sector. The present study draws upon information obtained from the National Survey of 1980 Graduates and Diplomates, which describes the experience of graduates during their first six years after graduation. First destinations are compared with salary levels and unemployment rates six years later. The main conclusion is that information obtained from the First Destination Record provides an accurate guide to the future career prospects of graduates only when highly aggregated statistics are used. The First Destination Record does not provide accurate predictions of the future career prospects of graduates at the individual subject level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-217
Number of pages17
JournalStudies in Higher Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1989
Externally publishedYes


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