Finalists from Heriot-Watt and Aston universities think they are the most employable in the country, according to a survey by careers specialists High Fliers Research.
Two-thirds of students from Heriot-Watt and Aston think they will walk into a job after they graduate this summer. They are twice as optimistic as students from Liverpool, where just one third expect to find work. Martin Birchall, author of UK Graduate Careers Survey 1996, which is based on a survey of a fifth of all finalists at 24 top universities, said there was a direct correlation between students who had substantial work experience and high post-university employment expectations. At Aston 90 per cent of students boasted work experience, compared with 56 per cent of students at Liverpool.
Oxbridge finalists, traditionally the most sought-after students in the employment market, were far less optimistic about their job prospects. Just 40 per cent of Cambridge finalists expect to start work. On the other hand, those who did expect to find employment also expected to be the highest paid in the country. On average, Oxbridge finalists reckon to start on Pounds 16,000 rising to Pounds 29,000 after five years, compared with an average of Pounds 14,200 rising to Pounds 26,100.
But across the board, most students are pessimistic about jobs, with just per cent thinking they will start work after the exams. Nearly a third of finalists have no work experience - some 20,000 in the 24 universities.
UK Graduate Careers Survey 1996. From High Fliers Research. Tel: 0171 428 9200.