Graduates put enjoyment at top of ideal job wish list

Graduates think job satisfaction is more important than money, according to
a new survey.

Of more than 2,000 final year university students, 70 per cent cited
enjoyment as the most important thing when looking for a first job. Next on the
list was liking the people that they work with, followed by earning ‘enough’,
passion for the industry, good work location, and social life.

The findings, published in The Grad Facts 2002 survey, by the Guardian and
the Association of Graduate Recruiters, also shows that fewer students are job-hunting
while at university, with only 40 per cent looking for jobs before graduation.

Graduates say they lack confidence in the job market, with 35 per cent
believing there are fewer opportunities now than in previous years.

Around a quarter said they would be put off applying for a job if it
involved a complicated process, and candidates are wary of companies that
require presentations and role-playing.

Graduates also expect to stay in their first jobs for a shorter time – just
15 per cent expect to stay more than three years. And although only one in five
2002 graduates went to private school, they are twice as likely to have had a
job offer than those who attended state school. They also expect a higher
starting salary – graduates who passed through the private school system expect
at least £25,000 while others are looking for less than £20,000.

Newspapers remain the most popular medium for job-seeking graduates at 64
per cent, followed by the internet, 58 per cent, and the university careers
office, at 56 per cent.

By Quentin Reade

Time grads expect to spend in first job

 Up to 6 months                        3%
 6 months – up to 1 year            13%    
 1 year – up to 2 years              28%
 2 years – up to                         3 years 18%
 3 years – up to                         5 years 10%
 5 years – up to                         7 years 2%
 7 years – up to 10 years           1%
 10 years – up to 20 years         1%
 More than 20 years                 1%
 Don’t know                             22%

Source: Gradfacts 2002

Top five preferred employers

 1 BBC
 2 Central Government
 3 PwC
 5 Local Government

Source: Gradfacts 2002

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