Graduates forced to lower their aspirations

Some gradautes are even considering travelling abroad as a result of the strain the recession has put on the job market. | Photo: Sam Cox

Only a third of 2009 university graduates expect to get a job for which they have studied for during their degree course, according to a survey conducted by High Fliers Research.

16,357 students were interviewed about their aspirations after graduation and many said they are being forced to consider temporary or voluntary jobs.

The editor of the Daily Telegraph, Will Lewis, previously told journalism students at Lincoln that this was a dangerous career move.

Lewis said: “If you come to a job interview and explain you disappeared to Spain for a year since you graduated it isn’t very impressive. You need to try and stay involved with your career path even if it is unpaid and in your own time.”

The pressure on the job market has brought about a change in the pattern of job applications from 2009 graduates. The highest proportion of applications already made is for teaching, followed by media, marketing and charity work. On the other hand there is a 31 per cent decrease in applications for jobs in investment banking.

2009 graduate Lindsey Bee was planning to enroll on a law conversion course at Lincoln University but has now taken a teaching placement in a local Grammar School instead.

“I have had to consider jobs I didn’t imagine doing but with teaching there is job security and a good starting salary and I am now excited about the prospect,” said Bee.

The survey also shows how a record number of students are considering taking on a postgraduate course. Prospects, the UK’s official graduate careers website warns that serious consideration is needed before embarking on such courses.

Their website states how postgraduate courses are not always viewed as a positive by employers. They advise students to establish whether employers in their field consider “relevant experience” or postgraduate qualification more important.

The Higher Education Minister, David Lammy, still maintains university worthwhile despite limited job prospects this year and the average student investment being £15,000.

Lammy said: “If you want a good job and a rewarding career, getting a degree remains one of the best ways to achieve it.”

The government has offered its support by launching a new website, which aims to bring graduates and employers closer together.

The idea is to get companies which offer internships involved in the scheme and organisations such as Network Rail, the police service, and Microsoft are already committed.

Related reports:

The Times | Graduates face worst jobs market in decade
The Guardian | Only a third of students expect a good job offer

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