Students optimistic about employment prospects

UK students are more confident about finding a job shortly after graduation than their European and US counterparts, but almost two-thirds believe the job won’t live up to their expectations, according to new research.

A multinational survey of 1,600 soon-to-be college and university leavers from consulting firm Accenture, reveals that 69% of UK respondents expect to find a full-tme job within six months of graduating, with 40% hoping to start work within three months of getting their exam results.

This compares favourably with US graduates – 61% of whom believe they will find a job within six months. Graduates from Germany, Spain (both 54%) and France (41%), however, were noticeably more pessimistic.

But despite the optimism among UK graduates about their job prospects, only 36% are confident that those jobs will meet their expectations.

They want the opportunity to learn specific skills from training programmes (79%), fair renumeration (76%) and management and co-workers that are available and approachable.

Overall, 75% of respondents say they will use the internet to conduct their job search, while 47% intend to proactively send out their CV, and 43% will use networking through friends, relatives or contacts to secure employment.

“While graduates are optimistic about getting jobs and more downbeat about getting the right jobs, employers have a different concern – getting the best talent possible,” said Peter Cheese, managing partner of Accenture’s Human Performance practice. 

“Executives who clearly define roles and match new graduates’ skills, aspirations and experience to those roles, will succeed in attracting the right talent, and they will have more satisfied employees contributing at a higher level.”

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