Essex graduates facing better work opportunities than in the past

Today’s students are finding it easier to get jobs than their predecessors, conclusions from a range of students has found.

I spoke to 6 graduates who graduated over the last 30 years and who currently live in Essex. I asked them a series of questions such as when they studied, what they studied, where they studied and how easy it was to find work.

The people asked had been to universities covering a wide geographical region stretching from Dublin to Kent.

The students asked had graduated between the years of 1985 and 2017 and most of them agreed that students are finding it easier to get into the careers that they are looking for.

The primary reason for why this could be easier is disputed.

Cathy who graduated in 1985 after studying Hotel Management at Westminster College, but now works in design said that if she was at university now “I would make more effort to choose the right course and then follow it through with a suitable job”

All the students who graduated before 2005 agreed that the types of courses were more generalised whereas today, they are more specific which lends its way for more opportunities for graduates.

However, two of the graduates expressed their concerns over the large increase of students’ debt including Cathy and Niamh.

Niamh who graduated in 2008 from the National college of Art and Design in Dublin and now works in design said that “I don’t think I could afford university now”

Statistics from the Higher Education Statistic Authority showed that in 2015/2016, 95% of graduates who had graduated over three and a half years ago went into further study or employment. In 2012, this figure was 93%. Therefore, showing that the employability rate of graduates is steadily increasing.

However, if this is the case a pattern of possible concern may be arising as according to statistics from universities UK, there are 2.28 million students studying at a higher education institution. According to UCAS, the number of people applying for higher education is increasing. This therefore makes the ability to find work increasingly competitive as more people will be qualified for high skilled professions.

Half of the sample reported on some element of competitivity when looking for a career, all of whom have graduated in the last decade. Statistics from gov.uk from 2015 found that only 22.8% of 21-30 year olds were in high skilled employment which highlights a clear problem that the students may not be doing the work they want to be doing.

This issue has been addressed by learning assistant Rachel who graduated in 2017 after studying Psychology at the University of Kent who said that “I had a job offer within a month of finishing my exams, but it is so competitive!”

Vanessa, aged 39 who graduated in 2016 after studying Psychology at the University of Essex and is now working in retail said that she is not doing the work she aimed for but due to past work experience found it easy to get a job.

Although current students do seem to have a greater employment rate, the fact that more people are applying for education means that the opportunities and job offers are likely to gradually become more limited. This poses a possible problem for future students.

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