Study Shows Students Have Unrealistic Job Expectations

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11th July 2014 17:01 - Education

Findings from the Student Employability Index have suggested that post-graduate students have unrealistic expectations when it comes to job prospects.

The research, which was conducted with 4,000 students from 20 different universities, discovered that almost four fifths (79%) of those questioned expected to be in a graduate-level job within six months of completing their studies – men (83%) were slightly more optimistic than women (77%).

However, government figures paint a relatively different picture with just over half (53%) of post-graduate students actually securing such roles in the last five years.

Students’ salary expectations appear to be more in-line though, with most anticipating an annual income between £15,000 and £24,999 in their first six months of employment.

Furthermore, findings showed that quality of preferred course was the most important aspect influencing prospective students’ choice of course, ahead of job prospects after graduation (62%) and earning potential (36%) – men (42%) were more likely to prioritise earning potential than women (32%).

Notably, 93% of the survey’s respondents agreed that work experience and internships were essential.

The study also discovered that two fifths (40%) of UK graduates worked in the public administration, education and health industry alone, with graduates also more likely to obtain high skilled positions than non-graduates.

In addition, graduate salaries were found to reach higher peaks at a later age than for non-graduates.

In 2013, graduates with an undergraduate degree in medicine or dentistry were the most likely to be employed and had the highest average gross annual pay.

Collectively, students who attended top UK universities benefitted from higher salaries than those who attended other UK universities.

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