Stressing about getting THAT grad job? Here’s some positive news from graduate careers experts, Prospects
Employer confidence and demand for skills have meant that the graduate labour market is yet to experience any deep or significant impact from Brexit or international trade disputes. Graduates should feel confident that their investment in university has been worthwhile and that, if they haven’t already landed a job, their likelihood of good employment is high.
We have just launched our annual What do graduates do? report, which charts the destinations of last year’s graduates six months after leaving university. If you want to know what graduates studying particular courses end up doing or get ideas for where your degree could take you then this is a good place to start.
The data tells us that the graduate labour market remains robust and by some measures is as strong as it has been for some time. While graduate unemployment is at its lowest rate in 39 years at 5.1%, more of those who left university last year are employed and in professional-level jobs compared to last year. Nearly three quarters of employed graduates go into skilled work six months after leaving university.
Skills shortages have been a feature of the graduate labour market since the recovery from the last recession and there are signs that this may have helped to fuel a modest rise in salaries, which increased from £21,776 to £22,399.
Demand for skilled workers appears to have also helped increase those entering professional jobs, which was evident across all degree subjects. More graduates qualified in high demand subjects, such as IT, engineering, accountancy and marketing, went into their vocationally linked roles as a result. We also saw maths graduates working in IT and engineering over the more typical business services roles. And there were more physics graduates working in IT, and the marketing industry proved much more popular this year among geography and English graduates.
A crucial feature of the graduate labour market is the sharp rise in further study, which is likely to be due to the introduction of the postgraduate loans system. Full time and part time postgraduates have very different outcomes. Those studying part-time typically return to an employer, while those on full-time courses have a higher unemployment rate. A postgraduate qualification isn’t an automatic ticket to a better job, so think carefully about what you would like to achieve and do your research into the employability of particular disciplines before embarking on this journey.
The UK expects falling numbers of 18 year olds year-on-year well into the next decade. Coupled with increasing demand for shortage occupations at graduate level, job prospects are likely to remain buoyant. However, graduates in industries vulnerable to change, without clear vocational options, or in areas with weak labour markets will require support. Those who can demonstrate adaptability and resilience to deal with the change that is now a constant feature of modern careers will thrive.
For more careers advice and insights visit prospects.ac.uk