My best visualisation yet – Graduate earnings by subject

This morning I attended a symposium on LMI for all, a project in which government labour market data is made available for third parties to make cool apps. Most of the data is available already and I work with it every day, but in cumbersome spreadsheets that are not much good to the layman. Good design, good functionality, and good marketing are democratising this data.

With that in mind, I’ve made another tableau visualisation. My best yet! This morning the DfE published it’s second lot of LEO data on graduate earnings (I wrote on the first publication here). Fascinatingly we can see earnings by subject 1, 3, 5 and 10 years after graduation. I have put some of this data into a visualisation which you can access below:

Click me – I’m a super cool visualisation

Some commentary

For any one cohort the bars get larger every few years (of course because they are getting older and more experienced so end up earning more money – except strangely for medicine who earn less after 10 years than after 5? – See title picture). But look how each coloured bar (all the reds, all the greens, all the blues) get smaller from left to right. For each successive cohort earnings are being squeezed. Obviously the bars start to disappear at the far right end as these cohorts have not been in the labour market long enough to have data.

As ever, my disclaimer is that everyones’ pay is squeezed. There is some worry in the HE sector that people won’t heed the warning and recognise that these figures don’t show the value added. Can you imagine the headlines when the institution level data is published? A lot of grad earnings can be explained by geography and past achievement so it’s very important to contextualise these numbers.

Enjoy the visualisation – it was done in haste and I’m still in the sort of proof of concept stage with tableau. I would love feedback.

Technical bit

None of this data is ever indexed to inflation which makes comparisons really difficult. I have put it all into Oct 2016 (latest available) prices using CPI inflation. I used April (tax year and in line with graduation) as the point from which to index.


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