A survey commissioned by reed.co.uk has discovered over half of the recent class of graduates are ‘concerned’ with finding a job in the current economic climate.
The results come as reed.co.uk, one of the UK’s leading job boards and part of Reed group of companies, asked new graduates what factors affected their decisions when choosing a job in the economic downturn.
Staggeringly, it found that 1 in 4 graduates would consider sacrificing up to 2.5-5% of their salary in exchange for job security for three years.
Almost two thirds of graduates believed the private sector was more affected than the public sector, and a significant number of graduates are shunning careers in the financial sector and are moving towards marketing, media and creative sectors (20%).
This is compared to 4% in finance, 2% in banking and 3% in accounting. The impact of these career decisions could have a longer term impact on the pace of economic ‘recovery’ in the UK, as graduates shun traditional city jobs.
The proportion of young people entering full degree courses at universities in the UK has continued to rise.
Yet, more than 1 in 4 graduates cited their biggest fear for the coming years in terms of employment was that there wouldn’t be enough jobs and, over half of respondents have applied for more than 5 jobs since graduating and still haven’t found one.
Mark Rhodes, Head of Marketing at reed.co.uk commented:
“Fresher’s week has kicked off for many universities, and alongside the inevitable drinking and fun of these first few weeks, we want to make sure undergraduates remember there is a serious side to university as recent graduates who are still looking for jobs in a difficult economic climate have shown.
“We are seeing that graduates are shunning the traditional ‘jobs’ and looking for opportunities in different sectors. It’s important that incoming university students have an eye on their future and not just their fellow students. “
Nick Watson-Jones, newly graduated in engineering from Sheffield University commented:
“The next few months looks like being very tough for me and my fellow graduates. My advice to university students is to get some relevant work experience. I haven’t been able to get past the CV stage and I think that’s because I can’t demonstrate that I have worked in the field or a similar field I am looking to enter.
“If I could go back to my university days, I would definitely do some work experience in my first or second year before I got stuck into my dissertation and exams in my final year. ”
Top tips from reed.co.uk:
Career Adviser – Speak with a career adviser when you are still at university to get an idea of the jobs available to you. You can still speak with your career adviser after you have graduated, so it’s not too late to get some help and advice.
Work experience – This is vital, and if you can do some while at university, all the better. If you have graduated, doing some work experience in your chosen field will show your commitment and dedication and gives you something to talk about at the interview stage.
CV – make sure your CV is up to date and tailored to the specific job requirements. Never lie, but look through the job specifications and see if you can map your experience and skills to this closely.
Job recruitment careers fairs – These are a great way to meet prospective employers, gain confidence talking to them, and make contacts.
Don’t leave it too late – Remember that if you are trying to get onto a graduate programme for the year you graduate, you may start having to look while in your third year to avoid missing the deadlines as most of these start in September.