If you’re staring down the barrel of your final few weeks at Warwick, take comfort in the fact this is a good time to graduate and certainly better than at any time since the infamous credit crunch. In today’s guest post James Howell, Content and Marketing Executive, from graduate-jobs.com blogs about three reasons to feel glad you’re graduating in 2014…
1. There are more opportunities
In February 2014 the Association of Graduate Recruiters released a report based on their survey of over 200 graduate employers and their plans to recruit the next cohort of graduates. Their findings were encouraging: the results showed an unprecedented jump in the number of graduates these companies expected to recruit, from 4% increase in 2013 to a significant 10.2% for 2014. This equates to approximately 23,000 more graduate jobs.
Chief Executive of the AGR, Stephen Isherwood, described the increase as ‘welcome news’. Some of the sectors that showed huge increases were IT and Telecommunications (40.3%), Public Sector (20.3%) and Energy, Utilities and Water with 17.5%. These certainly mark a welcome change from the doom and gloom that’s characterised media coverage of the graduate job market in recent years. And more importantly, it’s good news for you, as capable students from high performing universities are in demand.
This doesn’t mean you can get complacent. Yes, the job market is more buoyant but you still have to invest time and effort in both your job search and applications. As Isherwood states:
We know that, even through the darkest days of the recession, our members reported unfilled vacancies because they couldn’t find graduates with the right mix of skills and attributes. Graduates need to think carefully about their applications and ensure they understand what a potential employer is looking for
2. Employers want YOU
The 2014 High Fliers report promises good things for Warwick graduates. Although there’s much speculation as to how the data is collated, the report revealed that Warwick was the seventh most targeted institution for the Times Top 100 employers. That means you’re in pretty good company and have something of a head start.
Not only do employers look more favourably on Warwick applicants (and their peers from other high-profile universities) but appearing is on the list is arguably indicative of the scale and frequency of on campus recruitment activity. What does this mean for you? Well, more opportunities to meet employers, build your networks and amass the information you need to make informed career choices and strong applications.
3. There’s no reason to panic
If you’ve missed the deadline for the traditional milk round period, don’t panic. Some of the big graduate employers are starting to move away from the traditional recruitment window of September to January in favour of rolling recruitment. There are ‘graduate schemes for all seasons’ and these companies offer excellent career opportunities and a more flexible recruitment pattern.
And don’t forget that big graduate recruiters only occupy a slice of the graduate job market. It’s easy to lose perspective when you’re a student at Warwick and assume that Times Top 100 employers represent the outer limits of your career horizons. Yes, Warwick students have an impressive track record with these recruiters and are certainly sought after, but there are two things to remember:
- In some careers – typically the creative industries or public affairs – you may have to take a more circuitous route, and build your experience through internships, work placements and fixed term roles. If you’re looking for ‘graduate schemes’ with a structured training programme and a high starting salary, prepare for disappointment.
- There are more applicants for graduate training schemes, than there are vacancies. It’s a simple numbers game. Most graduates start their career in an SME, so tap into this market to give yourself the best chance of success. Smaller businesses might not have the prestige, but they can be a fast track to career development.
So next time you feel a sense of dread and anxiety at leaving the Warwick Bubble (and the impending misery of finals!) take a step back and remind yourself that things are looking pretty positive.