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Good Degree And Work Experience Key To Getting A Graduate Job

07 Jul 2010

Good Degree And Work Experience Key To Getting A Graduate Job The Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) has produced a report suggesting that 78 per cent of graduate job recruiters are now looking for at least a 2:1 degree before considering an application.

They AGR survey results, based on the answers of 199 graduate employers across 18 sectors, also gave evidence that there are now fewer graduate vacancies out there and more graduates vying for them. There are now almost 70 students in pursuit of the average graduate job and the total number of graduate vacancies will be down 7 per cent in 2010 if the employers’ fears are borne out. Last year there were only 49 people chasing after each graduate position and the situation has been exacerbated by the fact that some graduates from previous years are still looking for graduate positions at the moment.

The chief executive of the AGR, Carl Gilleard, said that it was not much of a surprise that graduate recruiters were now placing an increased weight on the level of degree achieved since the number of applications per graduate job had risen sharply. Gilleard warned employers, however, against relying too much on degree classification saying that, “while this approach does aid the sifting process it can rule out promising candidates with the right work skills unnecessarily.” He urged graduate employers to find other ways of narrowing down the candidates to a manageable level.

The AGR survey also found that the number of graduate recruiters looking for work experience as a prerequisite for any graduate job application had more than doubled from just over 15 per cent last year to over 33 per cent this year.

The National Union of Students (NUS) said the government should be investing more in the graduate job market to create opportunities so that the ‘exceptional pool of talent does not stagnate.’

But the Minister for Universities and Skills, David Willetts, said: "We are committed to making it easier for current graduates to find work. That is why I have just asked all universities to provide statements on employability for their students."

“The job market remains challenging for new graduates, as it does for others. But a degree is still a good investment in the long term, and graduates have a key role to play in helping Britain out of the recession."

This current AGR survey highlights the huge importance of achieving a good standard of degree classification. It also shows just how important relevant work experience can be if you want to put yourself at the front of the graduate job market. Propel yourself ahead of your peers now by finding some work experience or internships in the sector you are interested in. Or chase down the reduced number of graduate vacancies that are available across all sectors using the E4S graduate job search.

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