Survey reveals reasons why grads are struggling to land jobs

March 09, 2017
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If you’ve recently graduated and you're struggling to land a job post-uni, you’re not the only one. Despite a slight increase in grad job since 2015, the situation still remains that grad jobs aren’t as readily available as they were a few decades ago.

If you’re still sending application after application months after graduating, a recent survey by GradAustralia has revealed the ways you might be impeding your own job search. The survey interviewed 14,000 Australian uni students and revealed not just the Top 100 Graduate Employers, but an insight into grads’ expectations in the post-uni job search.

Grads of some disciplines are being too picky

When asked about career priorities, 55 per cent of students said that even if a good salary was on offer, they wouldn’t work for a company that had a “bad image”. This differed between disciplines, as a third of law students were willing to work for a company with a bad reputation, as opposed to finance and teaching students, with only 10 per cent of students willing to work for a company with a bad name.

According to Martin Smith, the director of graduate career development at the University of Wollongong, he believed that many students were looking for work “…that has some kind of purpose and contribution to public good”, which he believes is limiting opportunities for grads.

[It's] damaging if students don’t try to get skills beyond their degree.

A lack of diverse skills

Many students believe they’re prepared for the job market, with 56 per cent of students saying their course provided them with the skills for the labour market. Only 16 per cent disagreed with this (with the rest having no opinion on the matter), which has the potential to be damaging if students don’t try to get skills beyond their degree.

Top employers are increasingly seeking diversity in the workplace, with director of GradAustralia Jeff Duncan saying that employers were increasingly looking for broader skills sets and individuals that stand out from the crowd.

Willingness to make personal sacrifices

While law, finance and property students were more willing to make sacrifices than their peers, almost half (49 per cent) of the students from teaching and human welfare industries weren’t willing to sacrifice their personal life for a job.

Relying solely on an academic transcript

Consultancy firm PwC, which was ranked number three in the Top 100 Graduate Employers, is starting to look less at academic transcripts. Talent acquisition manager Julie Duncan said they are now relying on cognition tests and are looking at people from all different degrees and TAFE graduates as well.

This is good news if your transcript is nothing but Ps – but not bad news if you’ve been striving for a HD average. Employers are increasingly considering well-rounded personalities as well as internship experience that goes beyond your degree discipline.

Lauren Piggott

Feature and promo image: Giphy

Digital signage image: Pitzer College, Flickr Creative Commons license