Careers Service Using labour market intelligence

The state of the labour market

The state of the labour market is relevant to every academic department for several reasons:

  • students and their families want to know how degree courses enhance employment prospects
  • quality assessors regard destination statistics as a performance indicator
  • graduate labour market trends can influence the direction of academic planning

Working in partnership with the Careers Service, academics can use labour market intelligence to plan, market and review courses. These courses are relevant to the national economy and profitable for individuals.

You can find out more about using labour market intelligence for:

  • course planning and review
  • promotional events and materials
  • LMI in the curriculum
  • quality assurance
  • reports to external agencies

Course planning & review

Funding Councils require statements of course outcomes to include references to skills and knowledge that will make graduates more employable. This pre-supposes knowledge of the career opportunities open to graduates and employers' requirements.

  • destination statistics demonstrate knowledge of where Strathclyde graduates have gone
  • projections of future demand show a need to produce graduates with certain skills
  • quotations from LMI sources, available from the Careers Service, can support a case for new and continuing courses
  • feedback from employers on how course content meets their needs. And where there are gaps in provision helps tutors to design relevant curricula

Promotional events & materials

Potential applicants want to know that their investment of time and money will be worthwhile. Course representatives at open days and external visits need to answer questions about employment prospects. Destination data can also be used to promote courses in literature and on websites.

Applicants are interested in where former students have found employment and in unemployment rates.
Graphic displays of destinations in course literature show that departments take an interest in graduates after graduation.
Quotations from employers show how they value the graduates of a certain course or faculty.
Tracking the career history of graduates provides interesting profiles for course brochures or websites.

Labour Market Intelligence in the curriculum

Graduates of all disciplines need to know about market conditions, both for their specific discipline and in general. This topic merits inclusion in the curriculum in various ways:

  • professional studies modules in vocational courses can include practitioners, tutors, or careers advisers talking about career options and advising students how to explore the labour market
  • other courses may include a session on labour market trends, the skills which employers require, the ways in which these are developed by students and identified by employers and sources of advertised and unadvertised vacancies
  • practical exercises can include a labour market dimension, e.g. linguists translating a labour market survey or Marketing students researching how employers market themselves to graduates
  • dissertations in business, social sciences and statistical subjects can explore topics related to the graduate labour market
  • discussion between departments and the Careers Service can facilitate co-operation in the design and delivery of such elements of the curriculum

Quality assurance

Quality auditors use destinations data as a performance indicator. Such data needs careful interpretation in light of general labour market conditions. It's advisable to seek guidance from the Careers Service. We can help with:

  • comparative data over several years can be compiled for specific courses
  • selective longitudinal surveys may be conducted, if resources are available
  • comments from satisfied employers can be collected to add a qualitative dimension to statistics

Reports to external agencies

Government departments, enterprise agencies, employers, and the media wish to know about graduate outputs and destinations. Often they find it difficult to obtain satisfactory data. Institutions that can respond promptly are well regarded.

Accessible data with helpful interpretation will assist external contacts to make informed policy decisions.

Accurate information will counteract stereotypes and myths. It's better for institutions to cooperate than to have data misinterpreted by those with limited expertise in graduate employment.

The Careers Service can tell you what data are readily available, what can be produced within a given timescale, and whether there will be a charge to external agencies for complex tasks.