Graduates starting lower on job ladder

March 3, 2000

The graduate labour market is becoming more diverse and fragmented, with traditional notions of the "graduate job" becoming increasingly unrealistic.

The annual graduate review for 2000 of the Institute of Employment Studies says competition among recruiters for the best graduates remains intense, but many graduates are having to set lower horizons in terms of the jobs and careers they can enter.

Graduates are being sought for and are entering a wider array of jobs, often competing and working alongside those with lesser qualifications.

A shift in the economy towards service-based industries has led many large organisations to recruit into more than one stream, offering a wide range of salaries and career paths.

The report says that the rate of growth in vacancies for new graduates in managerial and professional occupations is expected to lag behind the overall supply of graduates.

"Many will have to take employment in associate professional or technician-level jobs, where job growth is expected to be strong and where graduates may have advantages over non-graduates in the job queue, or look for employment in the wider labour market," the report says.

Despite these trends, the prospects for those graduates entering employment on a lower rung of the career ladder appear to remain good.

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