“We’re not in a graduate jobs meltdown… but this is a timely reminder that students need to have something more than academia on their CVs”

Charlie Ball at HECSU reflects on this year’s High Fliers report

Commenting on the High Fliers Graduate Market 2012 research, Charlie Ball, deputy research director at the Higher Education Careers Services Unit (HECSU) said:

“One of the key findings in the report is that around half of the employers interviewed warned that graduates with no work experience will struggle to get find work. However they don’t indicate that employers want this experience to be ‘relevant’ or even necessarily at graduate level. The kind of experience students gain in term-time and vacation working is often very valuable, and there’s no indication that employers aren’t interested in experiences of this kind.

“The 100 employers covered are collectively offering 11,296 paid work experience and internship places this year as well, so there are chances for students to gain experience before applying. Nevertheless, this is a timely reminder to students that they need to have something more than academia on their CVs to stand a good chance of a job on graduation.

“Although the findings don’t paint a particularly bright picture of the graduate jobs market, we also aren’t looking at a graduate jobs meltdown. Graduate prospects appear to be very slightly better than last year, albeit with the caveat that some very popular sectors, most notably media, may be even harder to get into than in the past.

“Considering the wider view, students who are finding their initial sectors of choice hard to get into, might consider being one of the 40% of graduates who start their career at a small or medium-sized business. And, of course, we would urge anyone who has not already done so, to get to their local university careers service to boost their employment chances.

“The bottom line is that the employers surveyed are expecting, overall, to be offering more jobs than last year – a very welcome finding during very difficult and uncertain times.”