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What Jobs Can A Graduate Expect?

Jan 24, 2008
Graduate jobs vary greatly and the fields that a graduate may enter are diverse; each year a graduate survey is undertaken to ascertain where graduates found jobs. Of the 2006 graduate survey 61percent were believed to be working within the UK while only 1.8 percent found themselves in jobs overseas. The amount of those who pursue further studying was believed to be 6 percent while nearly 3percent are studying to become qualified teachers. A worrying statistic is that 6 percent of those who graduated in 2006 were believed to be unemployed.

The jobs in which a graduate might work are defined into sixteen categories along the lines of industry sector. These categories are only umbrella terms and do not give an accurate idea of the positions a graduate might fill. They do however give a good representation of the types of industries a graduate may find themselves in after university. How many of these jobs are directly related to degree subjects however is not included in the survey.

The most popular jobs for graduates are in the health and associated professions, the survey states that 13.3 percent of graduates entered this sector. Examples of jobs in this sector are nurses, social workers, carers and psychologists. A graduate working within these industries would probably have to have obtained a degree in a similar subject to gain a job in any of these sectors.

10.4 percent of graduates will find themselves in clerical and secretarial jobs. Whether these are just 'stop gap' jobs for many graduates hoping to enter a specific industry is not revealed; but it is likely. For example a graduate may work as an administrative assistant to gain experience in office work and improve their IT skills.

Many graduates enter the working world in management jobs. More clearly defined as commercial, industrial and public sector managers this category contains 9.6 percent of those who graduated in 2006. Management jobs in any sector are believed to give a graduate valuable attributes in organisation and show a great deal of responsibility.

Seemingly a large number of graduates find themselves in retail, catering, waiting and bar jobs. As it is unlikely that this number actually underwent degrees in these subjects, the 9 percent of graduates in these industries are probably working until they can find a career path that they wish to enter.

Strangely a graduate who has undertaken a specific career path from their chosen degree course is in a minority. Jobs filled by graduates in the legal profession only account for 0.8 percent of the total, showing that the large number who undertake degrees in law do not all enter the profession after graduating.

The same can be said for the scientific professions, graduates in this field only number 1.1 percent of the total. This however is most probably due to the general fall in numbers of those wishing to enter the scientific industries. Students who take these subjects are at an all time low so there is little surprise that a small number can be found in scientific jobs after university.

A number of industrial sectors find themselves taking 5 percent of the annual graduates. Apparently a graduate is just as likely to find themselves in marketing or sales jobs as they are to find themselves in the arts, design and media industries. Other industries close to the 5 percent marker are finance and information technology services. As these relate directly to degree courses it shows that some graduates do follow on from their studies into the working world.

How effective this job survey is at demonstrating a wider picture of the work a graduate may undertake is debatable. 11.5 percent of graduates fill the category of 'other occupations' showing that after leaving university a graduate does not always have to enter a specific industrial sector.

Some generalisations can be ascertained however, it seems clear that with the large number of graduates in 'stop gap' jobs that there are not enough graduate positions available. As record numbers of graduates enter the workplace this is further testament of the devaluing of degrees generally.
About the Author
Recruitment expert Thomas Pretty studies the types of graduate jobs available to university leavers. To find out more please visit Need a Job
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