“No prospects” for graduates in arts, media and public sector

Students have given the arts, media and public sector the thumbs down for job prospects this year. A survey by graduate recruitment website Milkround.com asked students to rate their prospects in 26 industries.

Students thought they had the best chances of success in accounting, finance, banking, IT and engineering, but the worst in the arts, media and civil service careers.

More than a third (35 percent) of those surveyed picked out accounting, auditing and finance as the industry offering the best prospects, with 29 percent choosing banking and financial services. Just over a quarter (27 percent) said they thought IT and telecommunications offered the best prospects.

When asked which industries students thought offered the worst prospects, the arts, entertainment and media industry was singled out by three in 10 while just over a quarter (26 percent) said local government and civil service. Publishing, journalism and languages (18 percent) and construction, property and surveying (14 percent) followed.

The public sector took a hit in terms of whether students thought the private or public sector would offer better chances of finding a job. Seven out of 10 said the private sector while just 12 percent said public. The remaining 18 percent said both.

The survey also asked students how confident they are about their prospects more generally, with 61 percent not confident of finding a job. More than two thirds will consider a part time work if they can’t get a full time job while nearly half (44 percent) will consider further education and 38 percent may volunteer. Travelling (30 percent) and a gap year (15 percent) were less favourable options, perhaps because they may not lead directly into a career.

Students are keen to ensure they appear employable – particularly with such a negative outlook on their opportunities next year – with 97 percent agreeing with the statement “in 2011 it will be more important than ever for graduates to stand out from the crowd.” However, they don’t think Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter are ways to go about it: three out of five disagreed with the comment “using social media will help ensure I stand out from the crowd”.

Milkround.com spokesperson Mike Barnard said: “The state of the graduate jobs market has been widely discussed since the credit crunch as vacancies dropped dramatically, causing many graduates to fight for jobs and many more unemployed after university. It will take more time to rebuild confidence in the jobs market, especially as in our survey 42 percent of students thought the media exaggerate the status of the graduate job market for better headlines. There are continued signs that the graduate jobs market is improving, but until Britain is in a strong financial position, the situation can change very quickly.”


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