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AGCAS Resources Survey 2016: snapshot of HE careers services

The results of the AGCAS Member Services Resources Survey 2016 have now been collated and analysed. The purpose of this research was to explore the strategic positioning of careers services within HE institutions and to find out ways that careers education, information, advice and guidance (CEIAG) is delivered.  

This survey is the fourth of its kind, with the last report completed in 2008. Much of the content of that survey was adapted to reflect the changes within HE and the careers and employability sector since 2008.

Key topics

The new questionnaire was put together by the AGCAS Research Group and the AGCAS Board of Directors and was made up of four key topics:

• Services
• Staffing
• Facilities and finance
• Institution
Answers to the questions on these topics have captured a snapshot of careers and employability services and their services' strategic positioning.

Services to students and graduates
Two thirds of participating services provide CEIAG to their institution's graduates for a limited period, while more than one third serve the graduates in their institution for life. Four in five services take prospective students and nearly half the services regard staff in their institutions as their clients.
More than three quarters of services coordinate student placements and internships.


On average, a careers and employability service has 23 staff, with 15 of them working full time and 8 part time, which equals 20.2 FTEs per service based on the 56 responses.
Career consultants are ranked at the top of the table in terms of difficulty to recruit, followed by IT specialists, deputy heads, and heads of service. Placement officers, employer engagement officers, student awards officers, marketing officers and employment advisers are ranked at the other end of the spectrum and considered  'easier to recruit'.

Management systems

The previously dominant position of Prospects in the provision of careers service management systems has changed. Only one third of the 56 services still use Prospects, with around three out of ten services having switched to CareerHub. TARGETconnect and other systems have taken slightly more than a third share of the 56 services.

Budget and expenditure
Among the 55 services whose budgets and expenditure were reported, three quarters of the services' expenditure increased while a quarter decreased in the academic year 2014/15. The percentage of increase ranged from 1% to 65% with an average increase of 13.5% in 39 services. The percentage of decrease ranged from 1% to 33% with an average decrease of 13.9% in 11 services.
Slightly more than two thirds of the 55 services were able to generate income. Careers fairs and other employer presentations and activities were the major channels for careers and employability services to generate incomde.

Institutional profile

Careers and employability services were influenced by the characteristics of students and the institution, with significant differences appearing when some of the findings are broken down by size of the institutions or by institutions with different proportions of international students or part-time students.
AGCAS members who are registered with this site and signed in can download a summary of the report below.

  • AGCAS Member Services Resources Survey 2016: Executive Summary

    • AGCAS Member Services Resources Survey Report (Locked)

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© Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services 2018