Research released today  by the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB) has found that 79% of students expect to be in graduate level employment within six months.

51% said they expected to be earning between £15,000 and £24,999 a year – in line with official statistics.

The NCUB survey of over 4000 students found that while job prospects were a factor in choosing their course for nearly two-thirds (62%) of students only 6% used advice from employers when making their choices, less than half the amount that consulted Facebook (13%).

There were large disparities between the jobs students said they were thinking of working in after graduation and the numbers of students who eventually working in those occupation. For example, 44% of Business Studies students surveyed said that they were interested in working in ‘Marketing/market research, advertising and PR’ but according to graduate careers advice service, ECSU, 1 only 18.% of those business and management graduates who are working six months after graduation are ‘Marketing, PR and sales professionals?’. Students who want to work in these professions will obviously have to prepare themselves thoroughly for the jobs market.

Aaron Porter, NCUB Director of External Affairs, said:
“Employment opportunities are an important motivator for most students and if they are to fulfil their ambitions they need to seek out and have access to greater information about the skills that employers want.

“Employers tell us that they are looking for adaptable employees who can move across job roles and sectors. This could lead to great opportunities for graduates who find are more flexible and who know what potential employers are looking for before they graduate.

“Universities and employers, as well as students themselves, have a role to play in making sure that students have the information they need before they choose and institution and as they plan a career.”

Robin Mills, Managing Director of Chartwells, the education sector of Compass Group UK & Ireland said: 

“This research demonstrates how important employment prospects are for school leavers, students and graduates. We work with many universities to support their students through CV and interview workshops as well as providing work experience and employment opportunities across our wider business.

“As an employer of more than 60,000 people in the UK and Ireland we are passionate about supporting young people to gain meaningful work experience. This is why we continue to invest in important initiatives such as our new graduate programme and why we were keen to work with the NCUB on the commissioning of this research.”


The full report ‘Student Employability Index 2014 – part two’ is available here.

1 – Graduates in the UK Labour Market 2013 – Office for National Statistics

2 –

The National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB) develops, promotes and supports world-class collaboration between universities and business across the UK. Our aim is to find practical ways of harnessing the talent being developed in our universities, and the UK’s strength in ground-breaking research and development, for the benefit of the nation’s economy.

Drawing on the 25 years’ experience of our predecessor body, the Council for Industry and Higher Education (CIHE), NCUB is committed to a programme of research, policy development and practical partnerships. From facilitating collaborative R&D, to developing the entrepreneurial and employability skills of students at all stages of their education, NCUB is working to support UK business and higher education in a competitive global market.

NCUB’s members include many of the UK’s most successful businesses and universities.

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