Longitudinal Education Outcomes (LEO) from Scottish Colleges: 2016-2017

Employment and earnings outcomes for those successfully completing a Higher National Certificate (HNC) or Higher National Diploma (HND) course at Scottish college in 2012-2013 and who go on to employment, with no further enrolments in tertiary education.

Longitudinal Educational Outcomes (LEO) from Colleges: HNC/HND to Employment

This experimental statistics release is the first LEO college data release in Scotland. It presents employment and earnings outcomes for those successfully completing a Higher National Certificate (HNC) or Higher National Diploma (HND) course at Scottish college in 2012/13 and who go on to employment, with no further enrolments in tertiary education.


Longitudinal Educational Outcomes (LEO): Median total earnings three years after completion

Infographic text:

A graphic provides an overview of the key points from the Longitudinal Educational Outcomes publication. All figures in the graphic relate to median earnings in 2016 to 2017 tax year of graduates from the 2012 to 2013 academic year, which is three years after the student will have left college.

The headline figure shows that the median total earnings of full-time HNC/HND college completers who go into employment with no further study was £15600 three years after completion.

The graphic also provides extra detail for gender, age, Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD), ethnicity, disability. It shows that males earned £2200 more than female (based on unrounded earnings). Male completers earned £17100, compared to £15000 for females. Individuals aged 25-34 had the highest earnings of £16000. Those aged 35-44 had the lowest earnings of £13700. Individuals from SIMD quintile 1 areas, which are the 20% most deprived areas, had the lowest earnings of £14800. Individuals from quintile 4 areas had the highest earnings of £16200.

Individuals of white ethnicity had the highest earnings of £15600. Those of mixed or other ethnicities had the lowest earnings of £12700. Individuals of Asian ethnicity earned £14600, and those of Black ethnicity earned £13800. Those with no known disability earned £2100 more than disabled individuals (based on unrounded earnings). Those with no known disability earned £15700, and those who were disabled earned £13700.

Experimental Statistics: data being developed

Experimental Statistics are new official statistics that are undergoing evaluation. These statistics are being published as experimental statistics in order to involve users and stakeholders in their development and as a means to further improve the use of the data in future.


This release only covers those who complete a full-time HNC or HND at a Scottish college and then move into employment, which accounts for around 10% of the total full-time qualifying cohort at Scottish colleges. College completers who progressed to further study (at college or university) as a result of their achievements at college and subsequently moved into employment are not covered by this release.

Figures published by the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) in the recent College Leaver Destinations (CLD) publication shows that around 56% of qualifiers at SCQF levels 7+ who left college moved on to study at a Higher Education Institution (HEI).

Analysis suggests that median total earnings for UK domiciled first degree graduates from Scottish HEIs were £24,600 three years after graduation. This provides an indication of the opportunities available for students who articulate on to university. Further details of statistics on earnings of graduates three years after graduation have been included in Annex A. Links to the detailed results from our previous publications can be found in the section below.

Those that complete further education or part-time courses are also not included in this release. Studying part-time, which accounts for around three quarters of all college enrolments, is an important step in the learner journey for many individuals. Identifying what proportion of earnings are attributable to the college course rather than previous experience is a complex issue that requires further analysis.

Previous LEO Publications

Figures from these publications are not comparable to earnings in this release and cover the time period five years after completion.

LEO from universities - 2016/17 (June 2019): https://www.gov.scot/publications/longitudinal-educational-outcomes-leo-univerisities-2016-17-scotland/pages/1/

LEO from modern apprenticeships - 2016/17 (September 2019): https://www.gov.scot/publications/longitudinal-educational-outcomes-leo-modern-apprenticeships/pages/1/

Future Plans

A vital next step in the development of the LEO college data will be to include those who have participated in Further Education (FE) courses and those progressing into further study at university. A future release covering all college completers will be developed and should give a more comprehensive picture of the sector. The LEO college data will remain as experimental statistics for the duration of this work as more knowledge and quality improvements are built into the data.

As this statistical release only covers a proportion of college leavers, it is not representative of all learners' experiences and outcomes from colleges. As such these statistics should not be used to draw any conclusions about the overall sector. This publication is designated as experimental statistics so any comments on how to improve future releases are welcome.

See Annex B for further information on future plans.


Email: Euan.Shields@gov.scot

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