This year’s university leavers are the least prepared for life after graduation ever, new statistics from High Fliers Research reveal.

Overall, 14% of finalists have yet to decide whether they will seek work, do a postgrad course or go travelling – the highest proportion ever seen since the survey was launched in 1995.

But among arts and humanities students this figure rises to almost 50%.

The new figures also show a 15-year low in students’ confidence in the graduate job market:

45% of finalists describe prospects for new graduates as ‘very limited’


One in six say they wouldn’t have gone to university if they’d realised how tough the graduate job market is.

Across all degree subjects, only a third (36%) of finalists believe they will either start a graduate job or be looking for a graduate job after leaving university this summer.

A quarter (26%) plan stay at uni to study for a postgrad course

16% are preparing to take time off or go travelling, and –

8% expect to temp or do voluntary work.

Graduates from the Class of 2010 expect to owe an average of £17,9000 (up from £15,700 in 2009) and are seriously concerned that the Class of 2009 will take most of the entry-level vacancies on offer this year.

Martin Birchall, Managing Director of High Fliers Research, said:

“The recession may be officially over, but with a record number of students due to complete degrees in the coming weeks and tens of thousands of last year’s graduates still looking for work there is widespread concern on campus that competition for graduate jobs has never been fiercer.

“The research highlights that students from arts and humanities courses and those who’ve had little or no work experience during their time at university are the least confident about the future.”

These new stats confirm Graduate Fog’s fears that this summer is going to be extremely tough for graduates – and frankly I’m losing my patience with the people who were supposed to be looking out for you lot.

WHAT is being done about:

– The shortfall in the number of jobs for university leavers, particularly now the public sector is planning a graduate recruitment freeze in most areas?

– The scandalous spread of unpaid internships, which normalises the exploitation of young graduates who are desperate to work?

– The nonsensical obsession with sending 50% of our country’s young people to university?

– The lack of modern, useful careers advice for graduates to help you make good decisions about how to handle this muddle?

David Willetts MP – What are you actually DOING to help the hundreds of thousands of students who are about to graduate into this mess? So far we’ve seen a lot of talk, but ZERO action.

Prospects and AGCAS – Can you really put your hand on your heart and say you’re doing a fantastic job of giving these young people modern, useful career advice to help them make sensible, informed decisions about what to do next?

Universities – Don’t you feel even a teensy bit queasy about the fact that you’re selling qualifications to young people for thousands of pounds – which will turn out to be almost worthless on the job market?

Schools – Do you still think it’s a good idea to encourage so many of your pupils to go to university, when this is the reality they will face when they graduate?

Unfortunately, Graduate Fog can’t create graduate jobs or change the careers advice industry overnight (though believe me, I’m trying!).

But this summer I will do my very best to provide you lot with the support, information and advice that nobody else seems willing or able to supply.

In return (remember, I’m unpaid for all this work I do!), PLEASE tell your friends about Graduate Fog and keep commenting on posts and pages.

Remember: Alone, you are one – but together we are many!

Imagine what we could achieve if our Graduate Fog army had TENS OF THOUSANDS of members?

If you lot really want your situation to improve, you need a clear, collective voice in order to get things happening.

I’m very happy for you to use Graduate Fog to build this ‘voice’, so we can shout louder and louder and get you the help that you deserve.

I can’t do anything without knowing I have your support.

Sound good?

*Have you left your post-graduation plans to the last minute?
Tell Graduate Fog why – we promise we won’t judge! Do you feel angry or let down by the government or your university? Get it off your chest here…

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