By Millie Woodrow-Hill
- The job market is still a fierce barrier to break through, but there may be a light on the horizon. 2014 is due to be the best year for the graduate job hunt since 2008 when university-leavers first began to feel the effects of the recession. Some of Britain’s top recruiters are intending to employ 8.7% more graduates than 2012. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean graduates are out of the deep-end yet, as it has been found that the weekly wages of employees aged 22 to 29 have fallen by 9.4% since 2010. Finding a graduate job is hard enough on its own, but finding a well-paid one too is a real feat, and a lot of graduates’ success will likely depend on both their degree subject and chosen institution. Subjects such as Chemical Engineering, Medicine and Computer Science have some of the highest graduate starting salaries, averaging at £30K, whereas Arts subjects such as Music and Media Studies have some of the lowest, earning only £16-17K. For the most part, this can be put down to supply and demand. We are reaching a point as a society where we are practically touching the future. Whatever can be imagined, we strive to create. A screen operated by touch? Check. Technology you can speak to? Check. Twenty years ago these things were only seen in sci-fi flicks.
Jobs are being created all the time for the brightest Computing and Medicine graduates, while those with an Arts degree will struggle to find relevant job openings. What is interesting is that when the most common graduate positions per degree subject are examined, the salaries are often not too dissimilar, but the likelihood of getting those positions vary hugely. For example, graduates entering publishing careers as Editorial Assistants, can earn starting salaries of £20K, and a qualified adult nurse can expect £21K. However, a graduate’s chances of receiving a nursing job is far higher. With 99% of Medicine graduates landing a job or further study within six months of finishing university, it is hardly surprising that we are faced with the rise of the ‘geek’. Subjects once caricatured as ‘nerdy’ or ‘geeky’ now lead to the best employment opportunities in the country, with Computer Science students at Oxford University expecting a starting salary of £43,895. In our modern age of rapid technological and scientific advancements, the ‘geek’ has become admired by society. This can even be seen by the success of the CBS comedy, The Big Bang Theory featuring four brusque yet affable geeks. The show became television’s highest rated comedy during its fourth season. So if computers are the future, so are the Computer Science graduates, and by receiving some of the highest graduate pay, it seems the geeks have become chic.