The majority of new graduates have managed to secure a job within the first six months of leaving university, research has revealed. 11/10/2012
Carried out by the Higher Education Careers Service Unit (HECSU ) and the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS) , the annual What Do Graduates Do? report investigates where first-degree graduates are half a year after leaving higher education.
According to the study, the employment rate for new graduates stands at 61.8%. The unemployment rate currently stands at 8.6%, compared to 8.5% last year.
Although the figure is slightly lower than that recorded in 2011 (62.2%), the tough climate - exacerbated by a weakening economy and the impact of public sector spending cuts - means employment prospects appear much better than feared.
The average salary for graduates in full-time employment is £19,935.
In addition, the report found 4.4% of graduates opted for self-employment, up from 4.4% in 2011.
Charlie Ball, deputy research director at HECSU, commented, 'When graduates from 2011 left university, the labour market was difficult, as the UK economy struggled with negative growth and a dip back into recession.
‘In spite of this and the trouble in the Eurozone, over 166,000 of last year's graduates were known to be working in the UK six months after leaving university - nearly 8,000 more than the previous year.
He added, 'Many of the jobs created during the recession have been with smaller firms and therefore, when looking for vacancies, graduates should not just focus on large organisations but widen their search, taking advantage of local information, careers services and informal contacts.
'The figures show that even in difficult times, graduates can and do get jobs. Students need to prepare for a difficult jobs market, but there are opportunities out there, so don't give up hope.'
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