Undergraduate Prospects: What Now?

By Elliot Morgan

For third year university students, the final furlong has begun as the Easter break comes to a close. In less than a month, exams will finish and deadlines will have passed, leaving the door open for a batch of new undergraduates to enter the job market and the world of work.

But as degrees become more common & the quantity of undergraduates grows, students are finding it increasingly difficult to get into the job market in the first 12 months after university. As recently as January, official figures, published by the Telegraph stated that “20 per cent of ex-students were without work in the third quarter of 2010 – double the number when the recession started”.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/8283862/Graduate-unemployment-hits-15-year-high.html

So what options  do students have if jobs are scarce? Well, I interviewed a few final year undergraduates to gauge their opinions on how they are going about life after University…

William Quirk, 21, Arts & Graphic Design student, St Martins College, London – 

“I have an exhibition in August so it doesn’t give me much time through the summer to apply for jobs or internships like most other courses. I’ll probably finish, graduate and reflect for a bit on what I want to do, hopefully it won’t be too long but I’ll eventually want to get into graphics of some description. The nearer to London, the better.”

Matt Morgan, 22, Geography student, University of Derby –

“I’ve been applying since January but I’ve had a lot of rejections. It’s difficult to get a job straight away when you think of how many students are graduating on your course, not just at the uni you’re at, but all over the country. I suppose the key is to get them in early and build up your CV from the first year but I haven’t done that.”

Tom Mason, 21, Business Management student, Birmingham City University –

“In the final year it’s probably better to go for paid internships rather than work experience, as good as it is (work experience) once you’re so close to graduation, employers are more keen to see that you have been put in a more responsible role than just hanging around the office being told what’s-what.”

Sam Keith, 22, Psychology Student, University of Leeds –

“I’m from the Isle of Man, so I’ll be looking for a job & a place to live on the mainland, if possible. There’s a lot of schemes to work abroad which I’m looking into, I want to travel a bit before I go into full-time employment, while I’m still young. If I can gain some work experience or a placement whilst in, say, Australia or America, that would be class.”

Andrew Lovell, 21, International Business Student, University of Sheffield –

“Not many places are really offering full time jobs to new graduates unless you’re on a scheme, if you haven’t got amazing academic credentials or a ream of work experience it’s a lot more diffucult to go straight into a job after university. I don’t reckon I’m going to get a job anytime soon after I leave, so I’ll do some travelling and re-assess my life around christmas time.”

4/5/11

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