Careers Service and graduates excel in employability report

University of Cambridge graduates have excelled in the latest employability figures.

We are helping students secure the future they have hoped and worked for.

Gordon Chesterman, Director of Careers Services.

The latest statistics from the Higher Education Statistics Agency show a significant percentage of Cambridge students secure graduate level jobs within six months of leaving.

HESA has just released the 2012/13 UK Performance Indicators – Employment of Graduates statistics.

They show that 95.5% of University of Cambridge UK full-time first degree leavers were in employment and/or further study six months after graduating.

That figure relates to those who replied to the survey and were either employed, studying or unemployed. The figure does not include those travelling or otherwise engaged.

Cambridge’s 95.5% compares to a national average of 92.2%, from the 161 Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) responding to the survey.

The employment rates for institutions varied from 81.4% to 100.0%.

Gordon Chesterman, Director of Careers Services at the University, said: “This year Cambridge has done exceptionally well. It shows how employable our students are and is a strong indicator that the courses that they study are of interest to a wide range of employers.

But it is more than that at Cambridge I think. The course you study and the system here will give you tremendous skills which are of direct interest to the employment market.

He added key aspects of a Cambridge education build on the skills learnt in students’ chosen course.

“The supervisory system allows you to present your case persuasively and extracurricular activities give a huge range of skills. For instance if you are arranging a club trip it demonstrates organisational skills and team working – attractive qualities in the job market.”

The news is even better when you look at employment type - 92% of those in employment are in graduate level roles, an increase of 2% from last year. 

The success of the Careers Service comes down to the way it is tailored around the individual student said Gordon.

“We are funded by the University to give advice to students whatever career they want to follow so for instance we have run events on how to be a professional opera singer, theatre critic and foreign correspondent,” added Gordon, “Many careers do not have obvious graduate level entry points so we ask alumnae to come in who are pursuing those careers and they share how they got there.”

Interactions with students start early with many seeing the service three or four times - 50% of undergraduates will engage with the Careers Service in their first year.

“We can tell them to relax and get involved in extracurricular activites while looking for shadowing opportunities between their first and second years.

“That gets you ready during the second year to meet employers to get internships between the second and third year. If you get that then you could get an offer later in the year with a sell-by-date of 14 months later so you can finish your studies knowing you have a job to go to,” said Gordon.

But it’s not all about chasing the big jobs and big money.

“Much of the work our students look for is in the charity sector or in areas not known for their high wages. And of course many want to go into post-graduate study and we put equal resources into helping them go on to courses in the UK or even abroad.

“The figures tell us our efforts have been successful and focussed in the right directions. We are helping students secure the future they have hoped and worked for.”

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