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Survey data indicates it’s not all doom and gloom in the graduate job market

HESA Graduate destinations survey reveals Scottish graduates are faring better than their English counterparts

  1. Scotland retains lowest level of unemployment in UK at 7% this year compared to 9% in UK and 10% in England.
  2. Set against a tough labour market – the level of unemployment of graduates from Scotland’s universities remains steady at the same level as last year (7% last year too).
  3. Scotland has the highest rate of positive destinations in the UK at 90% compared to 87% in England. This marks a 2% increase compared to last year.
  4. Scottish starting salary is the best in the UK at a mean of £21,500 compared to £21,000 in the UK as a whole.
  5. Number of grads from Scotland in employment only has increased too. From 62% last year to 63/64% (depending which table you look at). It’s 62 per cent for England.

HESA survey of all undergraduate and taught post graduates 6 months after completing studies with a 70 -80% return rate:


The Association of Graduate Recruiters Summer survey of its members indicates a stabilisation of graduate recruitment levels with:

  • average UK graduates starting salaries up by £500 to £26,500
  • a smaller than expected decrease in recruitment levels in 2012 (0.6% fall as opposed to 1.2% expected earlier in the year) and
  • a reduction of the number of applicants per graduate job from 83 last year to 73 this year.

The survey is the largest of its kind in the UK covering 215 AGR members across 20 sectors providing an estimated  21,194 vacancies  taken in June 2012 and the press release is available here:


HighFliers Research which looks at the Times Top 100 graduate recruiters also published its graduate employer survey today and shows similar trends but also reflects the fact that employers surveyed are larger blue chip companies recruiting the very best students from the graduate market.

The overall stabilisation of graduate recruitment levels amongst UK recruiters hides significant changes below the surface at industry sector level where decreases in investment banking, accounting, armed services  and management consulting were balanced out by increases in Telecommunications, engineering and public sector.

Starting Salaries among these top companies are not surprisingly higher at £29,000 but do not reflect the wider pool of UK graduate level employment referred to in the HESA survey (average 21,000) or AGR members (average 26,500)

The full report is available here:


On Track: Class of 2007- Sweep Three -This report from the Scottish Funding Council presents the results of a study into the outcomes of education by tracking the longer term life choices and careers of the 2007 cohort of qualifiers from Scottish universities and colleges.

Findings indicate that the Class of 2007 were positive about the long-term impact of their course on their overall career prospects, and that 8 in 10 learners felt with hindsight that the benefits of taking the course still outweighed the financial expense involved.

The full report, which has a useful summary of findings, is available from SFC at:

Vote for the UK Guardian 300 – cash prizes up for grabs!

The Graduate Barometer 2012 is a large-scale, independent piece of research into students’ views on graduate careers and recruitment. Almost 15,000 students from across the UK took part in the 2011 edition. Your views provide valuable insight and also help decide who makes the Guardian UK 300 top graduate employers. Join in and enter the prize draw with two prizes of £1,000 and five of £500 up for grabs!

The survey takes just 15 minutes to complete. To take part, please go to:

Thank you for your participation and best of luck in the prize draw!


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