A mere 19 percent of UK graduates gave serious consideration to their long-term career prospects before starting their university course. That is according to the Milkround Student and Graduate Career Confidence Report, which polled 1,730 students. The study concluded that while the majority did not consider their lives post-education at the outset, a year into their course this had dramatically changed, suggesting that the course had opened their eyes.
Some 79 percent of first year students had, in fact, considered the job they might want after university after a year of studying, the survey found. However, the research also confirmed that ongoing economic strife is having a profound impact on career confidence, with four percent of students in the last year over their course vocalizing optimism.
Consequently, Stephanie Fernandes, the IET's principal policy advisor for education and skills, has urged young people to consider their career options carefully before pursuing life in academia.
"The traditional path to finding a career is not as obvious as it once was and the thought of finding the right career can be quite daunting," she commented. "The better informed you are the easier it will be and there are many career guides available to equip students with information to get a head start in the hunt for the right position."
Ms Fernandes said that in order to succeed in an ultra-competitive job market, students should record all of their work experience. In fact, the IET has its own online skills development and recording tool for members, which they can use to help build their own CVs.
The IET Graduate Advantage package, meanwhile, will help new graduates to "prepare for interviews, deal with the steep learning curve that comes with your first significant professional experience and make a successful transition from education into early career development and towards a successful career", Ms Fernandes added.