Job market / Warwick

The graduate job market in 2017: eight inconvenient truths

What does the current job market look like for students who will graduate this summer? The press would have you believe the market is unremittingly gloomy; that it’s saturated with graduates, with supply exceeding demand. Future automation will mean the end of many jobs, including some professions. Brexit and Trump will ruin everything and the world as we know it is doomed.

Confirmation Bias

But how much of this is borne out by actual facts? Let’s press pause, take a look at the evidence and see if we can paint a brighter picture.

As Generation Z, having grown up with the political and economic backdrop of the 2008 recession, full-fat University fees and the message that your parents and grandparents have enjoyed greater wealth than you are ever likely to, it’s hardly a surprise that some of you may be feeling discouraged.disbalance (high resolution 3D image)

Negative messages can prevent you from exploring the facts behind the headlines, reinforcing what you’ve come to believe and even putting you off making job applications.

The good news

However here are some facts and statistics which give a poke in the eye to a number of these assumptions.

1. Warwick has just been voted the top choice of the top 100 graduate recruiters.  As a Warwick graduate you are amongst the academic elite and therefore highly desirable to these recruiters and many others. Graduate recruiters want to hire Warwick graduates!

2. Many of these firms, along with hundreds of others, actively fish for talent at Warwick by advertising their vacancies through MyAdvantage. When I counted recently there were 899 graduate jobs available to Warwick across a range of different sectors.

3. According to the Higher Education Careers Services Unit’s Deputy Director of Research Charlie Ball, most graduates in the UK do get graduate level jobs or further study places within 6 months of graduating, negating the argument that supply exceeds demand.

4. Did you know that one of the headaches for some top graduate recruiters is the number of graduates reneging on jobs as they receive more than one offer? If you find yourself in the position of receiving more than one offer, here is some useful advice on what to do .

Businesswoman giving a handshake and smiling
5. Despite the market uncertainty caused by Brexit, the graduate market overall is still seen as buoyant. The Times Top 100 saw a modest increase in jobs this year of 1.6% but anticipate a further increase next year.

6. While there are some sectors with fewer opportunities, several are finding it hard to fill their vacancies; Technology, Engineering and IT in particular but also Accounting, Consulting and Banking and Finance.

7. According to the Association of Graduate Recruiters more than 80% of graduate recruiters do not mind what degree you’ve studied. It’s easy (again) to make assumptions about what a job involves- but might you be overlooking roles that would in fact make good use of your skills and talents? Check out what these roles might involve so you can see whether some might be more appealing than you’d perhaps thought.

8. Whilst according to Warwick graduate destinations statistics around 50% of you may head off to the bright lights of London to work after you graduate, there are many good graduate opportunities in large cities where the cost of living will be considerably less. Birmingham is only an hour from London by train. If you are flexible with where you work you will automatically open up more opportunities.

Top tips

  • Do your research – look for the facts, use reliable sources
  • Don’t make assumptions about graduate job availability
  • Look behind the labels– understand different jobs before judging their suitability. Arts graduates can work in Technology, Science graduates in HR. Large firms recruit students into many different sections
  • Be positive –Many recruiters are desperate to hire graduates with a STEM degree, including those on 3-year courses. Increasingly larger firms are also willing to consider graduates with a 2:2. Offset less strong academic predictions with relevant work experience and skills gained through your extra-curricular activities
  • Have confidence in your abilities – there are jobs out there and there are recruiters who will want to hire you!




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