What Do Graduates Do?

The 2009-10 version of “What Do Graduates Do?”, produced annually by the Higher Education Careers Services Unit (HECSU) based on annual graduate destination surveys has recently become available. It shows some interesting trends in graduate employment as it follows nuances of the economic downturn.

While large numbers 2008 – 09 graduates entered the public sector in preference to previously glamorous opportunities in banking and finance, the trend was reversed in 2009-10 as public expenditure cutbacks started to bite. The financial services sector recovered to 2008 levels with some quite spectacular rises in specific areas, including a 45.9% rise in financial analysts and an 81% rise in personnel and recruitment consultants/advisers.

On the public sector side, the numbers of graduates becoming nurses and teachers did not fall markedly, but there was a general decline in administrative posts in public administration and defence, and there were considerable reductions in the numbers of social workers and physiotherapists recruited.

Overall, the private sector comeback lead to a slight decrease in the level of graduate unemployment (down to 8.5%) although there was little rise in the level of salaries offered.

This is a national survey which doesn’t necessarily reflect local trends, but it is interesting to note that the University of Cumbria Jobshop has been receiving large numbers of vacancies for recruitment consultants over the past year. Other frequently advertised opportunities have included information technology, marketing and sales jobs.

For a more detailed look at the current employment situation as perceived by University Careers Services, see www.agcas.org.uk/articles/462-Mixed-picture-on-graduate-jobs-front-HE-careers-services