When it comes to choosing the right university and course, it’s often important to have a look at what your choices can offer you in terms of employment opportunities once your degree has finished. Fortunately, there are plenty of stats available to give you a good picture of what graduates similar to yourself are doing once their university days are over, as well as advice on graduate jobs.
One of the best sources to find such information is ‘The Destination of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey, taken each year from universities each year to find out just what graduates do once they finish, what type of job they end up doing and even the salary they are on. However, it is important to remember that like all other statistics, there is often some context that needs to be added to get the full story, but here are a few things to consider when trying to understand just what do graduate employment statistics mean.
First of all, what is a graduate job?
It’s hard to understand what’s a Graduate job , as the definition differs from person to person and depends entirely upon the current job market. For example,10 years ago there was no such thing as social networking and therefore no need for candidates in positions such as ‘Social Media Specialists’. So a great deal of research goes into working out just what is a graduate job role and what is not. You should also remember that just because a job role is considered to be graduate level, this does not mean that it will be well paid or even offer good prospects such as promotion, but more often than not they do.
The six-month target
The current level of unemployment for graduates leavers of 2012 is at 8.5%, with this figure having been taken six months after graduates have qualified. However, these figures do change from industry to industry i.e. If you’re looking at entering the media industry, the chances are you will be looking at waiting a while longer before finding a job role that suits you best. These figures can also depend on where you are located in the UK, so if you’re looking for a job in Wales or the North finding employment may also see you waiting longer than those looking for employment in London. But, six months isn’t very long, so don’t get too worried about these figures. Just because you might not find employment for the first half a year of being a graduate doesn’t mean you’ll never get a job. From all the graduates of 2009, only 12% of those who were unemployed 6 months on, remained unemployed three years later. What we’re trying to say is, eventually most graduates find the job they want.
Not in work doesn’t always mean unemployed
Unemployment doesn’t always have to mean that your sat at home on benefits. Many graduates classed as unemployed, have been placed in this category because they are either travelling or caring for children, in some cases you might have even won the lottery. The last one might be a little less likely, however, the point remains.
Some courses may currently show high unemployment rates, but this is no reason to be put off, as you’re not going to be qualified for a few years and circumstances may have changed in this time. The recession has affected the whole of the UK, but some industries have been hit worse than others. The construction industry was hit hard when the recession took hold and this had a large affect on unemployment figures for courses such as architecture and quantity surveying, where before figures were very low. Thankfully, these figures have begun to fall again and are expected to fall further in future surveys.
Don’t expect big money straight away
And finally, do not expect to find the dream job with the excellent pay salary as soon as you leave university. When media quote numbers of £25,000+, this is often not a true reflection of a graduates yearly wage. More than likely you’ll be looking at a figure of between £18,000 to £23,000, depending on your location and the industry you are looking to work in. After all, a degree isn’t a ‘get rich quick’ scheme, but more so a pathway towards a job that will leave you in a comfortable financial position for future years.
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