It may seem like the distant past, but pre-recession, the graduate jobs market was a place akin to paradise. Graduate jobs were plentiful, and the UK’s best and brightest had the run of the playground. When the recession hit in 2007, things changed drastically. The number of graduate jobs available dipped by 23%, a stark contraction that left many highly qualified individuals without work. Even worse, others languished in jobs below their level of qualification, giving rise to the notion of under-employment as well as unemployment.
The market has now recovered, with a rise of 12% on last year’s figures, according to a report by High FLiers. The study was based on a poll of 18,000 final year students.
However, the number of graduates has increased from 85,000 to 365,000 since 2007, meaning much greater competition for the jobs that are available.
In order to keep up with demand, the pace with which graduate level positions are created needs to increase. This latest news represents a move in the right direction.
The report by High Fliers suggests that the number of positions, on average, available at the UK’s top companies stands at 190 per company – a figure that should offer hope to our new crop of graduates.
The biggest increase has occurred in accounting and professional services companies, with a 23% increase in graduate intake.
The competition for these places still remains stiff, with an average of 39 applications per position. It remains imperative that students are proactive in their employability, and look to evidence skills to employers. A university qualification is no longer the differentiator, but the norm.
It is the people with strong personalities and employability skills that will stand out from the crowd and succeed.
The advent of the internet enables students to showcase these abilities to potential employers, and state their case to stand out from the crowd.
Two-thirds of the companies interviewed for the survey have stated that they plan to match or exceed this year’s figures next year. The market is moving in the right direction. Students should be clamouring to position themselves in the best way possible to attract employers.
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