New research conducted by Endsleigh has revealed that the reality of the employment market proves more difficult than some students expect when they leave university.

The recent survey reveals that despite 34% of recent graduates successfully finding full-time work in the career of their choice, the figure is contrasted by “student optimism” – since 59% of final year students state that they expect to find a permanent job within 12 months of graduation.

Endsleigh’s report was based on national research conducted by NUS Services Research Department. The survey collected the views of 1423 final year students and 971 graduates (79% of whom were aged between 21 and 24). The results found that female final year students are more realistic about the difficulties they face, with almost two-thirds (61%) saying that they will struggle to find a job after graduating, compared with just over half (53%) of males.

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Endsleigh’s survey reports that the current wage for almost half (48%) of all graduates questioned is lower than expected. 57% currently earn £15,999 or less, with some claiming to earn nothing at all. Unsurprisingly, the survey revealed that graduates in London earn the most, with almost half (48%) earning £16,000 or more compared with a national average of just over a third (38%). Overall, 21% of respondents said they earned between £16,000 and £21,999.

Kim McGuiness, Education Sector Manager, Endsleigh Insurance, said:

“As they prepare to leave university behind them, students today are, on the whole, realistic about the challenging time they face as they look to kick-start their careers. For some, however, finding a job they want that meets their salary expectations will undoubtedly be even harder than expected.”

In addition, Endsleigh found that 71% of graduates agree that university enhanced their chances of getting a job (79% for final year students) and almost half (43%) of university leavers found that their university experience had set them up for life in the ‘wider world’. 79% of graduates claim that university has helped build their self-confidence in meeting people and socialising, 55% saying it taught them how to manage their own money and 76% saying it had helped widen their interests.

Endsleigh is an insurance intermediary specialising in the student, education and graduate markets.

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