From education to employment

Why is it so difficult for graduates to get a good job nowadays?

Nowadays graduating with a 2:1 or a 1st class degree alone is not enough to land a graduate-level job. 

Up until 1990, the number of graduates equalled the number of graduate job vacancies. However, now, at any given time, there are 2.3 million graduates searching for a job and the competition is fierce with 80 applicants per job vacancy. 

With an overabundance of academically qualified applicants, employers are placing greater emphasis on making offers to the most ‘workplace-ready’ candidates equipped with a range of transferable skills and experiences. As well as possessing these attributes, graduates need to be able to present themselves effectively in job interviews. 

Chris Davies, the founder of Graduate Coach lists 4 key reasons why it is so difficult for graduates to get a good job nowadays: 

  1. There are too many graduates chasing too few jobs (The current supply of graduates looking for jobs is comprised of 800,000 graduates from 2019, 1,200,000 graduates from 2016-18 who are still searching and 300,000 international students).
  2. Academic success is no longer a differentiator to employers who are looking for experienced graduates who can articulate their skills.
  3. The content and delivery of university degree courses have remained largely unchanged over the last 100 years, despite the radical changes in the graduate job market, such as 70% of employers seeking graduates with digital skills.
  4. 90% of graduates have non-vocational degrees, and thus find it difficult to work out what type of career would suit them best. 

Chris Davies, who has been coaching students and graduates for the past decade comments “graduates face a rigorous, multi-stage application process as employers identify the strongest candidates. The Times Top 100 graduate employers are highly oversubscribed with up to 650 applicants per job. I have coached several excellent graduates who successfully navigate through the initial stages of the application process, only to be told they will not be invited to the final assessment centre due to the competition.” 

We believe that 2020 will be buoyant but incredibly competitive. As the number of graduates seeking jobs will continue to increase. 

Related Articles