One of the current topics flooding the news stories is the increasing unemployment rates for young people. Despairing statistics reveal that it may be a bad time to be a student. But has anyone actually asked what the student’s think about all of this?
Up to a third of graduates have found it difficult to get a job within six months, whilst one in four who have written to up to 100 applications have not received a single offer. One position received 8000 applications, a Loughborough Masters student found. People are now beginning to move abroad in search of a job or continue onto postgraduate study.
According to The Complete University Guide, Loughborough has a graduate employment prospect of 72.1%; 1% lower than last year, and 3% in 2010. Furthermore, London School of Economics came out on top with an 87.8% chance of employment.
Does it depend on your degree subject? Currently, more jobs are available in the finance and consultancy sector, however this is forever changing. A few degrees open up the possibilities for multiple jobs, but many still desire field specific experience.
For 2012/13, Art and Design students have a 50% chance of employment, English 68%, Sports Science 72%, and Business Studies 80%; the highest were Mechanical and Civil Engineering at 84% and 90%.
The majority of students who worry about their job prospects are those in their final year at university, and some progressing from their penultimate year. It is notable that any student will be worried about immersing into the reality of the working world, but it appears now to be more difficult than ever.
Most first year students share the common belief that they are currently safe from the hassles involved with graduation, but how can students be certain that the situation will improve? Should students start prematurely in their attempts to secure a place in the job market?
The obvious answer seems to be to apply for placement experience and part time jobs. Loughborough is a small town with a competitive part time job market, even more so with the higher unemployment rates from full time jobs. On average, there have been a minimum of 20 people applying to one vacancy. It has taken some students nearly a year to find a part time job. Of course, there are some that are currently in work, and regional areas seem to be a factor, as many students apply to Nottingham and Leicester vacancies.
A benefit to studying at Loughborough University is the encouragement and leniency to attend placements, in order to improve job prospects; some with the possibilities of employment at the end of it. However there have been mixed reviews about the ease in applying. Numerous students find it easy to find a placement because companies benefit from the status and tend to work closely with the university.
Conversely, it is not always straightforward, particularly if you only require a short period of six months. A Loughborough student who nearly gave up finding a placement stated that, “the best way is to go to them”. He emailed and rang a lot of companies, but it wasn’t until he went to see a company personally that they gave him the placement. There is a never ending circle of needing time and experience in order to gain experience.
For a placement in the summer holidays of 2013, it is recommended to begin applying now to gain an advantage, including first year students.