Although recent graduates haven’t been leaving their colleges and universities with optimistic predictions about finding the jobs of their dreams, the current situation on the job market looks promising. According to the latest estimations, 90% of the graduates of class of 2008-09 (which finished their studies at the onset of the crisis) have been employed.
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The largest graduate employers are assured that recruitment opportunities for graduates are improving with a steady pace. The chief executive of the Association of Graduate Recruiters, Stephen Isherwood, recognizes that the market is still tough, but many employers are willing to invest in graduate talent.
Which sectors welcome graduate students?
The level of recruitment differs between different sectors, but the largest number of vacancies is advertised in the sectors of consulting, retail and engineering, as well as the public sector. A steady growth of recruitment has also been noticed in the IT and telecoms sectors. However, there are industries where recruitment is still pretty flat, such as law and baking.
The statistics released by Hesa (Higher Education Statistics Authority) are showing that 14.1% of the graduates that finished full-time degree courses in 2008-09 found jobs in the professional, scientific and technical sector (which includes many fields from legal advice, to bookkeeping or architectural services), while 18.8% were employed in the sector of health and social work. The educational sector was the most accepting sector for graduates, hiring 25.5% of them.
The trend of graduates starting careers in the educational sector
Although the educational sector has been dubbed as a plaything of politics (read Essay: Colleges As Playthings Of Politics), many graduates are willing to get a job in education. Teach First certainly has something to do with this trend, since this organization inspires students from top universities to start building their teaching careers in state schools.
The director of graduate recruitment at Teach First, James Darley, says that this scheme managed to attract many young people because it offers them an opportunity to give back to society. This program is extremely popular today, which indicates that graduates don’t mind perceiving the startup of their careers as “a job for now” instead of “a job for life”. Teaching jobs are extremely valued “portfolio careers”, since they add versatility to young people’s professional biographies.
Not all graduates who complete the Teach First program decide to stay in teaching, but the fact that this organization offered them a valuable experience is undeniable. Since 2003, more than 50% of the graduates who were part of this program decided to continue with their careers as educators after completing two years of teaching.
How important is the degree subject?
Many recent graduates who decided to become part of the Teach First program are not interested in staying teachers for life. Their plans usually involve this path for the first few years after graduation, but most members of the program want to continue working as professionals in the field they graduated in. Politics and international relations, for example, are very attractive fields for young people, but they are also difficult to get into, so many graduates decide to accept a teaching career until they pace the route to their professional accomplishment.
Michael Collins, a graduate of politics and international relations, says that he accepted teaching history because he wanted to get a job that involved responsibility and commitment, and would be fulfilling and challenging for him at the same time. Although history wasn’t his degree subject, he studied it with excellence.
Although not all graduates who are part of the Teach First program end up teaching a subject related to their degree, most of them find the degree subject exceptionally important in the current job they have.
Nowadays, many employers are not very interested in the degree field of the job candidates; they are more bothered with the right creative and thinking skills. Of course, some sectors, such as the engineering for example, remain fishing in their corresponding pools, but human resource departments of broader sectors (such as retail or management for example) don’t mind giving chances to graduates with various degree subjects.
Are creative degrees a wise choice?
Students with degrees in creative disciplines have a lot of potential to bring diversity and improvements in many sectors, from engineering to entertainment. Although creative degrees are not always considered as an artful choice, they have helped many graduates to use their potential within the design industries, as well as seemingly unrelated industries, such as healthcare or engineering. Every sector needs talented professionals who can make its products more effective and user-friendly.
We no longer imagine an artist as someone starving because of being misunderstood. Students with creative degrees have greater opportunities than ever before. The job description of an artist is greatly changed in the era of technology, animators, web designers, and so on. Instead of being part of only one segment of the job market, creative graduates are now needed literally everywhere.
What are the salaries of recent graduates?
Unfortunately, graduates from design and creative art courses are usually among the professionals with lowest income. Those sectors, along with agriculture, documentation, mass communication and related fields, are usually earning less than $35,200 during the first few years after graduation.
Naturally, the amount a young graduate earns is dependent upon the subject of their studies, as well as the industry they get employed by. Graduates from dentistry and medicine have higher earnings, starting from $50,000 after graduation and going up to $67,000 after two or three years.
According to statistics, male graduates earn more than their female counterparts.
Does the degree grade matter?
Higher rates of unemployment are generally related to lower degree grades. All employers who want to hire recent graduates with a higher intellectual level are not only interest in the degree classifications, but in Ucas points as well. Besides expecting a higher degree grade, employers are also looking for self-awareness and self-confidence in job applicants.
They don’t want to hire just any graduate; they are looking for people with commercial awareness, ability to work with numbers, and good skills of communication. Besides appreciating good grades, employers are also paying attention to the way candidates come across at interviews.
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