New survey shines light on the benefits of college

16 October, 2023 1:00 am

It’s official – going to college helps you land your dream job.

That is one of the key findings from a new national survey of 1,000 alumni across the UK – including former students based in Bradford and Keighley.

We commissioned the research to shine a light on the many benefits of a college education, and are publishing the results to help celebrate Colleges Week.

Seventy percent of those asked told researchers, Perspectus Global that college had helped them get the career they wanted, while an overwhelming majority – 93% – would recommend college to others.

College-goers also reported going on to earn good wages in their post-study careers, with just over half (52%) now being on annual salaries of between £25,000 and £45,000 – and 14% earning more than £50,000. Those figures compare favourably with both the UK’s (£33,000, in this Statista report) and Yorkshire and the Humber’s (£30,000) median annual salaries for 2022.

Nearly half of those surveyed, meanwhile – 47% – now hold managerial, supervisory or directorial positions.

A path to secure an exciting future

Our Principal, Kevin O’Hare said: “These findings show how college education is helping so many people learn new skills to open up fresh opportunities and land exciting jobs in the areas that inspire them.

“We have so many talented people, of all ages, whose skills, and ambitions, are equally well served through pursuing technical and vocationally focused courses, such as T Levels, Higher Technical qualifications and apprenticeships, rather than taking the university or more traditionally academic route.

“Colleges like ours in Keighley and others across the country are working closely with employers to ensure we can offer such students fantastic opportunities to earn real-world experience of their chosen industries, including manufacturing and engineering, while they’re studying.

“As this research clearly demonstrates, this approach is really reaping rewards in terms of getting people into the jobs they want across so many sectors – and in many cases leading to well-paid, senior roles.”

The survey reveals that college opens up career opportunities across a wide variety of fields, ranging from manufacturing and engineering, healthcare and IT to hospitality, science, education and law.

Opening up opportunities in all kinds of industries

The majority (50%) of those asked cited ‘to learn a skill to set them up for their career’ as the main reason they had chosen to go to college, though many (37%) also said their choice was down to a love of learning.

Learning new skills and gaining real-life work experience was what most respondents (48%) said was the best thing about their college experience.

For more details on Colleges Week 2023, which runs from 9-20 October this year, visit

*The photograph shows Alex Johnson who has flourished at specialist engineering firm, Produmax thanks to her Keighley College apprenticeship.