Data from the annual UK Graduate Careers Survey 2015 has shown that students graduating this summer, many of whom were amongst the first to pay £9000 tuition fees, are the most ‘motivated and ambitious’ of their generation.
This is according to a director of the independent market research company which conducted the survey. Martin Birchall, of High Fliers Research, said that ‘New graduates leaving the UK’s top universities this summer […] are the most careers-orientated, motivated and ambitious of their generation’.
The survey consisted of face-to-face interviews with 18,412 students at 30 research-intensive universities. According to the survey, 26 per cent of those interviewed were expecting to start a full-time graduate job soon after leaving university which is the highest level the survey has recorded since 1999. Half of all students who were interviewed had completed at least one internship or work placement with a graduate employer in the duration of their course.
The survey also demonstrated that only 16 per cent of those interviewed expected to be job hunting after graduation. Furthermore, the proportion of students with no definite plans after university was reduced to 9 per cent, which demonstrates that an increasing number of students are actively undertaking career planning throughout their degree.
Significantly, this increase is alongside the introduction of higher tuition fees which means that levels of graduate debt will no doubt increase. The average expected graduate debt quoted in the survey is currently £30,000 which is a 47 per cent increase from the figure £20,400 in 2014.
Maddy Keating, an English Literature student who is due to graduate next month, stated that she thought that this new momentum in career-planning comes from ‘a concern about making the most of the money spent’. She said that ‘£9k is a lot of money so people are more focused about getting a decent job to justify going. No one wants to settle for a job they could get without the degree.’