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The evolution of graduate employees

Published: Wednesday, 18 April 2012   Category: All Graduate Jobs News

Since 1993, the percentage of the UK population holding a degree has more than doubled. More graduates mean that opportunities need to be shared among more people. Considering salary and job position; how has the landscape changed for graduates over the last few years?

The percentage of the UK population with a degree has increased from 12% in 1993 to 25% in 2010, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). With more graduates, the value of having a degree has decreased, and so have the graduate job conditions.

Back in 1993, 68% of graduate employees had a job in the highest positions, including roles as managers, engineers or accountants. In 2010 though, only 57% of graduates could enjoy such positions in their graduate jobs.

Further figures show that the wage gap between graduates and people with lower-level qualifications is narrowing.

According to data from the ONS, one in five university graduates across the UK earn less than the average of those whose highest qualifications were A-levels. Simultaneously, between October and December last year, the worst-paid 15% of graduate workers earned less than the average of someone who was only educated to GCSE level.

Despite these figures, however, today’s graduates still enjoy relatively strong average salaries compared with those who finished their education at 16.

Overall, the figures conclude that graduate employees in the UK were earning 85% more at the end of last year than those who were educated to GCSE level. In 1993, however, they were earning 95% more.

Although sometimes a university degree is not necessarily the key to a high-earning job, figures seem to point out that it is still worth going to university.

Do you think that having a university degree is the passport to a high-paid graduate job? What type of starting salary would you be looking for in your first graduate position?

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