Graduate opportunities have increased over the past year, according to an annual survey undertaken by the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS).
The graduate labour market survey was answered in December by 81 heads of careers and employability services across the country. More than four in five respondents (81.5 per cent) said that they had seen an increase in graduate opportunities in the year up to 31 July 2015 compared with the previous year.
The main areas of graduate job growth were: information technology; accounting, banking and finance; business consulting and management; marketing, advertising and PR; and engineering and manufacturing.
In this year’s Times Top 100 Graduate Employers guide, PwC remained the largest graduate employer, with Aldi and Google rising to second and third place respectively. But the AGCAS graduate labour market survey also took into account small and medium-sized enterprises that offer graduate positions.
In November 2015, the association conducted a survey to determine the most common graduate vacancies in SMEs alone. This survey revealed that the sectors with increased numbers of graduate vacancies were almost identical those highlighted in the more recent survey.
Bob Gilworth, AGCAS director of research and director of college careers services at The Careers Group, University of London, said: “The sector profile of our survey reflects the very real impact of the inclusion of the many opportunities with small and medium-sized enterprises, and differs, therefore, from other national surveys which focus exclusively on the largest graduate recruiters.”
The graduate labour market survey also found that there has been a rise in the number of students using university careers services before their final year of study.
More than 90 per cent of university careers services organise their own careers fairs for students, and respondents to the survey noticed that there has been an increase in interest from graduate employers wishing to be involved with these fairs.