The Higher Education Careers Service Unit is an independent research charity based in Manchester for the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, specialising in higher education and graduate employment. It funds research projects for the higher education careers sector, and conducts research into graduate employment and career decision-making on behalf of its own members and external funding bodies.
It is a registered charity, formed in 1972, and is an agency of Universities UK and GuildHE (formerly SCOP - Standing Conference of Principals). The commercial part of HECSU, CSU, changed its name to Graduate Prospects in July 2003.
Its most recognisable function is to produce the Prospects series of booklets with information about graduate careers. Graduate Prospects is the commercial arm of HECSU and provides careers information and services to students, graduates, university careers advisory services, employers and others.
The group produces statistical information on the destination of graduates from particular universities and courses.
The research strategy adopted by HECSU has five themes:
- Practitioner research
- Labour market information
- Careers guidance
- International comparisons
- Career learning and development