Graduates fear job prospects more than debt

Students are more worried about their future job prospects than the amount
of debt with which they will graduate, new research reveals.

The University Lifestyle Survey 2004, by Sodexho, shows that their
biggest worry is achieving their desired degree classification. Sixty one per
cent of students listed this as a concern, with anxiety greater among women (64
per cent) than men (57 per cent).

Carried out in association with The Times Higher Education Supplement,
the study surveyed 2,022 students at 30 UK universities.

It shows that their second greatest worry, cited by nearly half the
students, was finding a job after graduation.

Even people studying maths and computing – seen in today’s market as a
passport to employment – were worried about finding work after graduation.

Concerns over debt came third, listed by 43 per cent of students as a worry.

Alison Hodgson, chair of the Association of Graduate Recruiters, said:
"Graduates have never been under more pressure to demonstrate their
employability. Competition for jobs is fierce."

Peter Taylor, head of universities for Sodexho, said: "This survey
debunks the commonly-held misconception that students are only worried about
debt. It is a concern, but students seem resigned to it. They are much more
worried about jobs and what life holds for them when they leave

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