More than three in five graduates are considering further study as employment opportunities become harder to win.
Figures released by the Association of Graduate Recruiters revealed applications for graduate roles are up by more than 50 percent with an average of 49 applicants for every role and a survey of nearly 1,700 Milkround.com users found graduates are turning to postgraduate courses to improve their CV to combat the fierce competition.
The graduate recruitment website asked its users if they were considering further study, and nearly one in five (20 percent) said they were as the recession means postgraduate study is a good option. Graduates felt they could avoid the economic downturn by gaining new skills and avoid the pressures of finding a job this summer.
Some 15 percent claim they will be continuing their study as a postgraduate qualification is “essential” while 16 percent say one would be “beneficial”. A further 13 percent said they don’t need a postgraduate qualification, but they would still like to complete one.
Milkround.com spokesperson Mike Barnard said: “Postgraduate study is becoming increasingly popular among graduates who are taking a look at the harsh realities of finding a job this summer and realising they need to beef up their CV or face an uncertain future. Employers have fewer vacancies but more candidates applying meaning they can be picky when choosing their graduate employees. If the skills don’t match up, a CV will go straight in the rejected pile – it’s that simple.
“We advise graduates to take a good, long look at the jobs they want and key skills needed. There are plenty of postgraduate courses available to improve their employment chances, not least in business, accounting, HR, IT and teaching which will see them gain a qualification while setting off on a strong career path. Our website enables graduates to browse hundreds of courses on their way to choosing the right one for them.”
Among the 35 percent who said they have ruled out postgraduate study, 20 percent said they are not worth the time and money needed to be invested in them while 16 percent simply didn’t want to continue studying at postgraduate level.