* A long-term study of graduate destinations has been submitted to the Dearing inquiry to help it make better estimates of graduate supply and demand, writes Olga Wojtas.
Iain McNicoll, professor of applied economics at Strathclyde University said the study, The Class of 92, carried out by Glasgow University researchers Michael Levey and Kenneth Mackenzie for the Scottish Graduate Careers Partnership, sheds new light on graduates' success in the career market. It surveyed almost 3,000 1992 graduates from all of Scotland's 21 higher education institutions until 1996, and found unemployment levels dropped over that period from 8.7 per cent to 2 per cent.
Professor McNicoll said the more usual studies of first destinations were "almost completely useless" as a guide to graduate job prospects. They tended to show high numbers of unemployed graduates, but this was very misleading in that new graduates were not only changing jobs, but most were also changing where they lived, which almost inevitably led to unemployment.
The report found that while about 10 per cent of the new graduates had been in stop-gap jobs in 1992, only 2.3 per cent could be described as underemployed in 1996. The graduates' average salaries rose by Pounds 6,000 between 1992 and 1996.
The Class of 92 by Michael Levey and Kenneth Mackenzie, available from Careers Service, University of Glasgow, 2 University Gardens, G12 8QH, Pounds 20.