All entries for April 2012

April 24, 2012

What do graduates do in small businesses?

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I have a short article in the Spring 2012 issue of Graduate Market Trends reviewing what graduates do in small businesses based on Stage 4 data of the Futuretrack 2005 pilot study.

These initial findings from the Futuretrack 2005 (FT05) Stage 4 survey should be used and interpreted with caution, as the dataset does not have enough observations on which to perform robust statistical analysis. However, this taken into consideration, my analysis very broadly implies that, despite the variation within SMEs, those FT05 graduates employed in SMEs were more likely to report being satisfied with their job than those in larger businesses, particularly with the opportunity to use their own initiative, the relationship with their superiors and with the type of job they actually do. FT05 graduates working in SMEs were also less likely to say that they never used particular skills as part of their job. This raises some interesting questions about what causes these differences and how they vary between SME sizes and across sectors.

I welcome your comments and feedback on this article or graduate skills more broadly. You can email me at d.luchinskaya at or leave a comment here on this blog. Please note that all comments left on the blog are public.


The first-degree graduates in the article are those who said "I completed an undergraduate course and I am no longer a full-time student" in the FT05 survey (n = 186). This excludes people who are currently full-time undergraduate or postgraduate students, and those who have completed an undergraduate and postgraduate courses. When crosstabbed with current main activity, 7 of the 186 were studying in either postgraduate or undergraduate education. I recoded the variable to correct for this, and so the number of first-degree graduates who are no longer full-time students is 179. Of those, 155 were in employment.

The left-hand title on Figure 2 should read ‘SME (0-249 employees)' (p. 16).

The text under the graphs on Figure 2 should read 'In which of the following sectors is your current main employer?' (p. 16).

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