A study of a hundred of the UK’s leading graduate employers shows that the average intake of graduates will increase by 6.4% for this year.
Leading employers reveal that, on average, they have received nearly 1/5 more applications this year from graduates. Some reported they have already closed off their applications process and more than half reported earlier applications showed a significant increase compared to 2011’s 48 applicants per each graduate entry.
It may be encouraging to know that more than 75% of top graduate employers have maintained, or increased, their budgets for the 2011-2012 recruitment cycle. This year’s most targeted universities for career fairs were London, Manchester, Nottingham, Cambridge and Oxford. Graduate employers have focused on targeting students directly rather than spending money on advertising in graduate directories and sector guides.
Many users on The Student Room have reported the common difficulty in finding work.
One user, Hardstyler, was tempted to remove their degree from their CV altogether.
‘I am considering applying to some jobs and taking my degree off my CV. Has anyone done this before? I’m thinking my degree is holding me back from being considered for general office type jobs?’
But doing this faces its own problems, even if it is in an attempt to get a job even that is entry level, as Interrobang states:
‘Have you considered that if you were to do this, there would be a gap in your education/employment history? Potential employers may see that as a sign that you’re not being honest’
Many recruiters have confirmed that up to a third of their entry-level graduate positions will be filled by those who have already worked for them, through an industrial placement or sponsorship, for example. The amount of employers choosing to recruit in this manner is significantly higher in the investment banking and law sector. Over half of employers state that graduates with zero work experience are extremely unlikely to be successful in gaining a job offer.
The rise in school leaver schemes, in recent years especially, has resulted in tough competition due to the increased popularity of entering certain professions without the traditional degree education.
‘A degree matters more than ever given the increasing amount of school leavers embarking on such programmes over the previous decade. Many jobs that would have been done by school leavers yesteryear are now graduate jobs i.e. open exclusively to graduates’
The user also comments on how (despite the popular criticism of how many people take degrees) work based opportunities are just as difficult to find:
‘It is a common soundbite nowadays to criticise the amount of people taking degree courses and that there aren’t enough jobs for graduates – which is true. But there is also not enough jobs for school leavers either and even in this climate it is much better to be a graduate than just a school leaver. Opportunities for school leavers e.g. apprenticeships and on the job training have been gradually reduced over the last few years from what I have seen. ‘
Despite these hopeful reports the average graduate starting salary remains at £29,000 for the third year running. 20% of the top graduate employers, however, promise higher starting salaries in sectors like investment banking, law and oil and energy.
For 2012 graduates these recent reports offer hope for their job search post degree and, if successful, will allow them to make the most out of their degree education.