LSE have frequently dominated the top spot for employability in the British university league tables. Last year, LSE was first in the Complete University Guide, 2nd in The Guardian and 3rd in the Sunday Times in this category. This year, LSE came 6th, 5th and 18th respectively.

So what happened? Have LSE graduates become less employable? Should our current students be worried?

The short answer is no.

There has been no significant change in the type of jobs that recent  LSE graduates have gone into or the number of LSE graduates in employment. The league tables use data from a national destinations survey (Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education, or DLHE) which looks at whether graduate are working, studying or unemployed 6 months after graduation.

The methodology used to classify destinations changed this year. Standard Occupational Classifications (SOC) have traditionally been used to decide whether a job role is classed as graduate or non-graduate (ie whether the leaver is perceived to require a degree to do the job). This year the league tables  have moved away from ‘graduate level employment’ as a marker in favour of ‘professional’ employment.  This means that job roles in popular sectors such for LSE graduates such as the charity and development sector are no longer included in the ‘Graduate Prospects’ score.

This change in methodology has had a bigger impact at LSE than at other institutions owing to the subject mix (e.g. LSE has no Medical or Dental School) and the career aspirations of a large proportion of LSE students.