Graduates may need to rethink their job dreams

Graduates may have to rethink their career plans as industries struggle in the wake of the credit crunch.

The IT and teaching sectors are proving tough for graduates, while one accountancy firm has delayed the start dates for many of its 2008 intake to early 2009.

The news comes as a survey by graduate recruitment website Milkround reveals nearly two thirds of graduates have been hoping to work in a specific industry – a job dream they may have to forget if their preferred sector can’t accommodate them.

IT Pro Magazine recently highlighted the Higher Education Statistics Agency report that showed one in ten computer science graduates are unemployed while pay rates for entry-level IT workers has been falling – indicating IT graduates may not get the pay they need in the current economic climate and be forced to look elsewhere for work.

Meanwhile, the Telegraph reported top accountancy firm Ernst & Young has told graduates who were promised jobs in September they may have to wait until next spring to join, citing “current market conditions” as to blame for the delayed starting dates.

Another popular graduate career – teaching – is also proving tough for graduates as they drop out of training or struggle to find jobs.

The Belfast Telegraph cited the annual survey of teacher training courses from the University of Buckingham’s Centre for Education and Employment which reveals the drop-out rate for would-be teachers is rising.

Some 15 percent of all trainees drop out before the end of their course, up from 14 percent last year, with 28 percent failing to take up a teaching post once they graduate.

It comes at a bad time for 2008’s jobseeking graduates who will be looking for work now after completing their degrees and attending their graduation ceremonies.

A survey by Milkround found nearly two thirds of graduates (64 percent) want to find a job related to their degree as soon as they finish university, but could have their dreams blocked if more industries and companies can’t meet their needs.

While just 10 percent expected to divert from their university studies and look for a role unrelated to their degree, that figure may rise if graduates can’t find work in an area that follows on from their studies.

Graduates will be hoping the start date delay at Ernst and Young isn’t repeated at other firms: accountancy was the most popular industry among respondents with 14 percent wanting to start their career in the sector.

Media and banking were tied for second favourite on 13 percent each.

Milkround spokesman Mike Barnard said:

“The fears of a recession and the gloom surrounding the jobs market are setting a worrying backdrop for all jobseekers – not just graduates. However, there are clear signs graduates will need to be more savvy than ever in their hunt for work and not rely on the usual high numbers of vacancies available in previous years.

“Although major firms generally take on graduates every year through their annual schemes, places can expect to be limited if businesses target staff cutbacks to cope with the credit crunch. 

“But if you are a graduate jobseeker, Milkround still has hundreds of jobs with leading employers from all industries. Don’t miss out on some of the best roles available – apply today.”

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