Market Research Shows Employers Calling For Graduates With Work Experience

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18th June 2013 13:24 - Education

An education survey of 18,000 university leavers undertaken by The High Fliers has discovered that university graduates who have had internships are three times as likely to land jobs.  Findings show that over one third of job applicants who have done an internship or other vacation work with a graduate employer had at least one job offer by March 2013 as opposed to just 11% of applicants with no career-related work experience.

With tuition fees rising to £9,000 per year and the lowest level of debt upon graduation being £18,900 it is no surprise that graduates are being forced to apply earlier and in larger quantities.  It is estimated that from the top thirty universities there will have been 427,000 job applications this year alone – almost doubling figures from five years ago.

Two fifths (41%) of finalists made job applications to graduate employers almost a year before graduation in comparison to only 25% who were applying early in 2001.  The highest number of applicants in this survey was from students at the London School of Economics, who sent out on average an impressive eleven applications putting them at the top of the table for receiving job offers.

Martin Birchall, Managing Director of the research firm says: "Work experience is no longer an optional extra for university students, it's an essential part of preparing for the graduate job market." Mr Birchall also stressed the importance of job hunting, saying:

"Students who just focus on their degree studies without spending time in the workplace are unlikely to develop the skills and interests that graduate employers are looking for.”

With all this in mind only one in ten graduates are considering taking time off after university for travel, whilst 50% plan to work in London.

"The survey also shows just how hard today's university students are working to secure a graduate job at the end of their degree.  Record numbers of students are now choosing to research their career options in their first or second year at university, rather than leaving job hunting until the final six months before graduation." – Mr Birchall.

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