Monday, 26 October 2009

Graduate Market Trends autumn edition

The Autumn edition of GMT features the usual round up of graduate labour market surveys and a HECSU survey of higher education careers services exploring how they are experiencing the recession. This edition also includes articles by Arti Kumar outlining the SOAR (Self, Opportunity, Aspirations and Results) model and how employability can be part of this approach, Trevor Hart and Paul Barratt presenting research into graduate employment in SMEs and Professor Jenny Bimrose writing about a study set out to evaluate the effectiveness of face-to-face guidance interviews.

Go to the HECSU website to download the new version of GMT

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Postgraduates and the labour market

There's been quite a lot happening here in the last few weeks so we have been a bit short on opportunities to update the blog.

We're currently engaged in a range of investigations, from examination of the current state of the graduate labour market in the regions, to investigation of the role of networking in job-seeking, to some more straightforward number-crunching on postgraduates.

I've recently done a couple of presentations on the state of the labour market for postgraduates at the start of the year and there are a number of themes that have emerged.

The number of Masters graduates actually barely rose last year, and we expect that have to increased more sharply when the 2008/9 figures emerge in a few months, and for there to be an increase in Masters participation for a few years. Unemployment rates, and rates of employment in non-graduate employment, both increased this year, as expected, but perhaps not as much as I anticipated. PhD unemployment didn't go up, but the lessons of previous recessions tell us that for doctoral graduates, there seems to be an additional labour market lag.

All of this comes against the backdrop of the announcement of a new review of postgraduate education in the UK.

The remit for the Review seems to tend towards the economic benefits for the UK of PG study, but I hope there is sufficient attention paid to the benefits (both economic and otherwise) of study for participants, and on whether current support for students (particularly Masters students) is sufficient. Masters students ought really to be a key focus - PhD students, although important, are a relatively small minority of postgraduates and many are now well provided for in terms of support thanks to Vitae - although some attention should be paid to those who are not Research Council funded.

The Roberts Review produced tangible improvements in provision for PhD students and now postdoctoral graduates. Let's hope this Review proves as beneficial to Masters students.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Wordle Of The Week: HECSU Blog

Yes, time for navel-gazing with this week's Wordle.

I can recommend this if you want to know what words you overuse (..."interesting"...)



As usual, click on the picture to enlarge it.

This image was generated using wordle.net from the Feedburner feed from the HECSU blog.