What is the greatest challenge to graduates today?

Articles are suggesting the number of graduates hired by organisations fell, as outlined in the The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers. This appears to be the first decline in the last five years, so why have fewer graduates been hired? Studies have shown that many graduates are opting to stay in education, effectively removing themselves from the job market for a few more years. However what challenges do graduates face if they want to enter the job market?

The decline in graduate employment is complex and has been due to a number of reasons. Namely the uncertainty over Brexit has caused some movement, and some employers are cutting their graduate schemes back, including Goldman Sachs and Unilever. The decline in graduate schemes and willingness to employ graduates has been felt in the market, and it shows a change in attitudes towards education. The rise of apprenticeships can also be considered a reason for a decline in graduate employment, as some employers reevaluate their focus and adopt vocational courses and government incentives. Some prospective university students consider the apprenticeship route due to university fees, which have proved off-putting and have led to a decline in submissions. Some apprentices carry on their study to equivalent degree-level vocational courses as it includes work experience coupled with qualifications. However, the prospect of jobs after graduation and the higher wages are an incentive for those to graduate from university. The BBC found that graduates on average earn 48% more than those who only have five good GCSEs or the equivalent. The ONS found that In July to September 2017, graduates that had an undergraduate degree in medicine or engineering were the most likely to be employed and had the highest average gross annual pay.

Despite the rise of apprenticeships, graduates are sought after in today's job market. Although news articles highlight the difficulty in some graduates finding employment after university, we have found the number of graduate schemes and vacancies hasn’t slowed down. We don’t believe the market is declining, but changing, as employers are looking for well-rounded and skilled individuals who will possess the work ethic they’re looking for. The world of work is changing dramatically, and there needs to be greater awareness of graduate only employment opportunities and vacancies. In 2018 the Graduate Market released a report by highfliers.co.uk and found they believe the biggest growth to be felt among public sector organisations, and recently a scheme to quickly transition graduates to prison positions has been widely reported. The ONS found that over 40% of graduates worked in public administration, education and health industry compared with 21% of non-graduates last year. Moreover, it is estimated there would be an increase in graduate employment in accounting and professional services firms, as well as engineering and industrial companies which are suffering with a skills shortage. Graduate career firm Prospects has found that the number of graduates entering nursing, marketing, finance and computing has increased, but there has been a decline in medicine, teaching and engineering.

The greatest challenges in today's graduate market is finding the jobs that meet graduate skills and qualifications. IT Graduate Recruitment specialises in finding IT, Science and Maths graduates their future careers with exciting and innovative employers. If you are a graduate, or soon to be graduate, looking for your next adventure, speak to us today.

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