The Guardian has dug up a HESA spreadsheet giving employment rates by university. The figures really need to be available at the degree course level, and the post-graduation survey methods might be a little shaky — simply in terms of some types of students being more contactable than others after six months or a year. But if there was a “league table”… then, as far as I can digest it, this is the “top 10” in the West Midlands. If you want the best chance of a job, it seems, then train as a farmer.

93.8, Harper Adams University College (an agricultural college, Shropshire)
93.8, University of Keele (North Staffordshire)
92.9, Coventry University
90.6, University of Birmingham
90.1, University of Warwick (outskirts of Coventry)
89.1, Aston University (Birmingham city centre)
87.8, Staffordshire University (North Staffordshire)
86.3, University College Birmingham (Birmingham College of Food and Domestic Arts)
85.2, University of Wolverhampton
82.9, Birmingham City University (formerly Birmingham Polytechnic, formerly University of Central England)

The figures are apparently from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).

If you want to choose a course subject with high employability, it seems the obvious choices are still Medicine (92.7%), Law (92.7%), and Agriculture (90.9%), as they have been for millennia — but History (90.1%) surprisingly topped Business (88.9%). And Computer Science (84.7%) surprisingly trails behind the arts and creative industries — possibly indicating the struggle that universities are having to keep up with the relentless pace of change in IT, the Web and digital entertainment. “Mass communications and documentation graduates” seems like a rather dubious/lumpen category, and I’d suspect it may rather incongrously lump Librarianship and Printing courses in with Media Studies students?

Despite reams of jobs in the newspaper for qualified engineers and fitters, and manufacturers crying out for skilled people, it seems Engineering and Technology trails the pack. I’d imagine that might be a by-product of the low level of talent entering the courses, itself partly a by-product of the nation’s class-based sniffiness about ‘spanner and overalls’ professions.