Why are many university graduates struggling to find jobs?
The answer is more complicated than you might think.
Jobs are being outsourced to other countries, unemployment rates are high and new jobs are being created at a lower than desired rate. The situation is complex and new. Generally speaking, the culmination of these factors is creating a “hollowing out” of the labour market in which many middle class jobs no longer exist, producing scary results for new graduates who are starting to look for work.
Why are many recent graduates accepting jobs that do not require a degree?
New graduates are now faced with two possibilities–work hard and fight to be one of the lucky ones who lands a true professional-level job, or for many, fight this fight but after struggling for months, take a job simply to make ends meet. Gone are the days of work-your-way-up entry-level positions for new graduates. The middle class is disappearing, and it’s happening faster than many realise.
Who is hit the hardest by these changing labour market conditions?
The answer here is also not simple. New graduates in some fields earn large salaries, but competition for jobs in those fields can be fierce. Graduates in other fields may earn less, but be more likely to find a job. A study by the Office of National Statistics found that Media Studies graduates were the lowest paid, but were more likely to have jobs than other graduates. On the other side, graduates of engineering, physical and environmental sciences, maths and computer science, and architecture were higher paid, but less likely to have jobs.
So what type of field offers the best job prospects?
The key for students is to find positions and study subjects that will continue to be needed in the future. The obvious choice here is healthcare. Graduates who studied medicine have a high employment rate of 95%, generally earn strong salaries and have good job prospects for the future. Other fields with strong prospects include computer science, statistics and engineering.
In summary, the job market no longer offers traditional entry-level jobs, forcing many graduates to work jobs that do not require advanced degrees. Prospects are better in certain fields, but are rather bleak in others. The key to success for new graduates is to find a way to make their skills relevant, and not just now, but for the future as well.