Survey reveals UCT graduates are ‘highly sought after’


More than 50% of the University of Cape Townʼs (UCT) 2018–2019 graduate cohort are employed in South Africa’s private sector, with over 20% earning more than R20 000 a month.

This emerged from the latest Graduate Exit Survey conducted by the Careers Service unit in the Centre for Higher Education and Development (CHED), confirming the fact that UCT graduates are highly ranked in terms of their employability.

The 2019 Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) Graduate Employability Rankings support the statistics, with UCT ranked top in Africa and 18th in the world for graduate employment.

A total of 4 791 students responded to the survey during the June 2018 to April 2019 graduation season. The private sector emerged as the leading employer of 53.46% of graduates, with 19.71% employed in the public sector, and 6.01% by non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

In respect of their monthly earnings, the research indicated that 23.39% of students earn between R20 000 and R30 000, 16.14% earn between R15 001 and R20 000, and 5.21% between R5 001 and R7 000.

Around 80% of UCT’s class of 2018 are “meaningfully occupied”. Of these, 44.48% are employed, 30.78% are studying further and 3.75% are self-employed.

Survey results reveal the Faculty of Health Sciences as the top performing faculty in terms of graduate employability, with 69.94% of all medical students employed at the time of the survey. Close behind was the Faculty of Law, with 63.39% of students employed.

Only 10.71% of UCT’s 2018 graduates were still seeking employment.

Nawaal Boolay, Careers Service acting director, said the annual survey results help them enhance their service offering to students, and also assist in the development of partnerships with potential employers with a view to increasing the number of employed students.

“We continue to support these graduates through our online job portal, [one-on-one] career consultations, job expos and career development workshops.

“Graduates have access to our service for up to three years after graduating,” she said.