How doomed are graduates in 2012?

If you’ve been following media headlines recently you would be forgiven for thinking the fresh faced graduates of 2012 are slogging their way down the road to minimum wage rather than the high-flying career success they’ve always dreamed of. So, with the doors to student accommodation firmly closing behind them what’s the reality of graduate employment prospects?

Taking a look at the latest HESA statistics, 90.3% of full time & first degree graduates found work within six months. Whilst this is a slight drop from the decade’s peak of 93.8% back in 2006/7, relatively speaking it’s hardly a depressing majority. Whilst the media are hyping an ever-worsening situation, in fact there has only been minimal fluctuation between figures of 89.9% and 91% since 2007.

Recruitment Consultant, Rebecca Johnson at the Graduate Recruitment Bureau with a background in BSC Physical Geography states, “I’ve always believed that the majority of issues surrounding graduate unemployment actually lie with the lack of accurate career advice available at A-level and University level, rather than the amount of jobs available. I came out of University clueless as to the vast array of opportunities available to me. I love my job now but I didn’t know the choices.”

This is all the more reason to not only make the most of free resources available. University careers services of course but the internet can be used to an extreme advantage. It can be difficult not to become inundated by advice and information here, but sourcing out some key blogs on the web you can keep returning to will give you a more rounded knowledge of approaching the jobs market with far less stress. This way you can gain access to wider sets of experience which can be useful throughout your long-term career as well as the temporary graduate stage.

Studying a comfortably traditional humanities subject, it could be seen that Rebecca had a wider range of options than some. However with a 2:2 degree in BA Media Arts, Senior Consultant Aleks Saddington-Poole felt by no means limited when qualifying in one of the more heavily debated ‘softer’ subjects. He instead states, “I had the opportunity to go into production but chose not to. I went into recruitment as I saw it as a good opportunity to live where I wanted to and earn substantial amounts of money.”

With attractive benefits, the recruitment industry was certainly not second choice for Aleks who had firm ambition and direction. This lead him to the same success that any other graduate has the ability to create for themselves, no matter what is being drummed into them by different parties.  The fear is that constant demoralising news simply causes people to lose sight of their motivation to succeed. This atmosphere serves only to increase the likelihood that graduates will miss the diamond in the rough by becoming too distracted by what they expect to see rather than what is actually out there.

You must also take into account how far the recession is also impacting media outlets. In many cases scaremongering works greatly to their advantage. These institutions suffer increased pressure to broadcast hard-hitting stories, grasping at anything which will create controversy, reaction and the all-important readership figures. Perspective is arbitrary. Make sure yours is seeing the world where your future is your own.

Guest post by Charlee Owen, Graduate Recruitment Bureau

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