There are promising signs of continued growth throughout the UK’s recruitment industry. These signs indicate that there has never been a better time to be graduating from university! Of course, the first steps you take in your career journey are crucial. Taking the right ones could propell you towards a fulfilling and prosperous career. We look at the graduate career trends of 2016 and action you might consider taking for a fulfilling future.
A survey conducted by AGCAS in 2015, reported that the graduate labour market increased in 2015 compared to previous years. In fact, it suggests the UK is in its healthiest state since the recession. Furthermore, it highlights graduate opportunities showing improvement in five key areas:
- Information Technology
- Accounting, banking and finance
- Business consulting and management
- Marketing advertising and PR
- Engineering and manufacturing
“Virtually all of the careers services responding to the survey have their own vacancy services, handling thousands of graduate jobs. Including, but by no means restricted to, the major graduate recruiters featured in other market surveys. Indeed, the sector profile of our survey reflects the very real impact of the inclusion of the many opportunities with small and SMEs. It differs, therefore, from other national surveys which focus exclusively on the largest graduate recruiters.”Dr Bob Gilworth – AGCAS Director of Research and Director of College Careers Services at The Careers Group, University of London
Never too Early
Graduates are advised not to postpone their search for an internship or graduate scheme until after they have left education. The findings suggest that doing so could put your future prospects at a considerable disadvantage.
In his article for The Guardian, Nic Paton advises setting a strategy for your long term career much sooner. Sighting that gaining valuable work experience whilst studying can gain a candidate a sizeable advantage.
“Students are seeking opportunities earlier and earlier. This is now matched by employers who are targeting graduates right from the first term and sometimes even before. So leaving your career search until the final year is probably not the wisest course of action.”Christina Kerr – head of campus marketing and university relations at Barclays Bank
Gaining work experience with a company during the early years of university study can be invaluable. A practice that Ashley Hever – UK and Ireland talent acquisition manager for Enterprise Rent-A-Car – is also an advocate of:
“Yes, the degree is important, it’s not the only thing. It’s just as important that you get involved on campus. That you join societies, do volunteering, gain work experience and do internships,”Ashley Hever – UK and Ireland talent acquisition manager for Enterprise Rent-A-Car
The TARGETjobs National Graduate Recruitment rewards are the world’s largest student-driven graduate awards. The awards were chosen from an estimated 52,000 students from 126 universities.
Some of the key findings from the research are set out below. They show the mind-set of graduates towards their prospects of finding a career in 2016:
- 62 % believe finding a job this year will be challenging – this is a decrease on last year.
- Graduates would expect a starting salary of £24,500 – a greatly improved outlook since the years of recession.
- Graduates’ consideration of company culture over starting salary has increased by 5% in the last four years.
The most popular graduate recruiters are also highlighted. Most notably, Google named as the most favoured IT recruiter and IBM cited as having the best apprenticeship programme.
So What’s Next?
Hopefully, you will feel inspired by these graduate career trends of 2016. But what these findings mean for your career all depends on the action you take next.
Leaving university can be an overwhelming time. If you would like to discuss your future career plans, our experienced recruiters would be happy to have a chat with you.Of course, they can offer advice on the vacancies we have available and where they might lead. In addition, they provide valuable insights into the clients we work with and advanced interview preparation tips.