Student News: Graduate employment on the rise

Young Academic has learnt that despite many reports to the contrary, graduates actually are becoming more and more employable. In fact, there has been a 40% increase in employment for students since 2008 and the start of the recession.

The results of a joint report by NUS and Endsleigh show that the number of hours students spend in paid employment is increasing. The Student Lifestyle Report finds that on average students in 2010 worked 15 hours per week in paid employment during term time, up from 13 hours in 2008.

The research also found that the number of paid working hours increased during the university holidays, traditionally a time when students recuperate at home and prepare for exams and coursework for the following semester. Students in 2010 spent an average of 24 hours a week in employment during the holidays, compared to just 17 hours in 2008, an increase of over 40%.

Aaron Porter, President of the NUS had the following to say; “These findings clearly show that students resourcefully adapted to the current financial climate in 2010. We would expect that these figures will increase further in the next few years as the rise in tuition fees increases the cost of living for students. Despite the clear flexibility that many students have in their ability to juggle paid work and academic studies, it is important that students don’t feel pressured to over-expend themselves in paid employment, to the detriment of their university course.”

The report also looked at what areas students spend their disposable incomes on and found that activities and entertainment came top of students’ budget list, whereas music was considered least important. Technology such as mobile phones came sixth out of the eleven options, beating other life essentials such as toiletries and the internet.

The largest, necessary outgoing is on accommodation, with the average student paying £80 a week. A quarter of students spend over £100 a week on rent, with first years paying the most compared to all other years of undergraduate study.

The NUS report, sponsored by Endsleigh analyses in detail UK students’ lifestyles and the choices, issues, preferences and the options they have available at University. It breaks down students’ attitudes to food and eating, ethics and the environment, employment and debt management, social activity and the overall University experience.

Endsleigh and NUS have offered the following top tips to help students manage their money:

  • Plan a  budget each month so your aware of all your expenses and incomes
  • Utilise student discount cards as much as possible
  • Prioritise your purchases; to make sure the gas bill gets paid before you go plan a trip to the cinema
  • Search the internet for additional vouchers and promotions– there are a number of student-specific websites that offer big discounts on essentials

Vicki O’Connell, Endsleigh spokesperson said; “University offers a unique opportunity for students to grow and develop responsibilities, both academically and financially. It is perfectly healthy for students to seek paid employment whilst at university and in the holidays, particularly if this relieves financial pressure on living costs. However, it is equally important to make sure that students leave enough time to devote to their academic course in order to ensure they get the best possible qualifications.”

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