The latest graduate jobs crystal ball

Every 3 months the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) surveys it members. These members are typically large organisations recruiting substantial numbers of undergrads onto their one year placement programs and grads onto their graduate schemes. The 2013 Summer Survey results, featuring responses from 209 organisations, has just been revealed. You might already have read about it, normally underneath a flurry of pessimisitic, emotive headlines!

Before I reveal some of the highlights I’d like to give you a health warning about both the survey itself and the articles that the newspapers then write. It’s a fact that only 5-10% of  grads end up on one of these graduate programs or schemes. The huge majority of grads in the UK find graduate level employment with small to medium sized organisations (SMEs).  So these surveys, including ones like the High Fliers survey are based on a small proportion of all the opportunities out there. The newspaper articles don’t always tell you this when they make statements like “85 students will compete for every job this year”. For the 209 employers surveyed there will be that many. But that won’t be the case for the  SMEs where it’s very likely there will be a much lower volume of applications.

Having cleared that up there is one interesting stat to come out of the survey. For the most visible and popular large employers there is a prediction that in the coming recruitment season of 2013/2014…

Vacancies will grow with companies in the (1) consulting or business (2) energy, water or utilities and (3) engineering and industrial sectors

Vacancies will decrease with companies in the (1) fast moving consumer goods (2) accounting and professional services and (3) banking or financial services sectors

David Gilchrist

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