What is graduate labour market intelligence?
There is no shortage of raw data from a variety of sources concerning the supply and demand of labour in the graduate market (graduate labour market information). Often it’s confusing, sometimes seemingly contradictory, and in some cases it can be generally unreliable. Labour market intelligence is what you get when you sift through all this data with a critical eye, interpret and make use of it in a meaningful and practical way.
Why do I need to know about it?
You need to know about it to help you get a more accurate picture of your employment prospects as a graduate, to support you to make realistic and informed career choices and sometimes to debunk some of the hype that pervades the popular media. Researching labour market information helps you to identify the trends in the ‘supply side’ such as where do graduates work, what sectors, how much do they typically earn, what skills do they possess, how do they make decisions and to what do they aspire?
At the same time you can focus on the ‘demand side’ such as what subjects, skills and experience are employers looking for, how many opportunities are available, where are the skills shortages, how is the world of work changing? Getting a more realistic understanding of the graduate labour market helps you to make more informed career decisions.
General trends in the graduate labour market
4% of the population went to university in 1961; now 43% of 18-30 year olds are in SHE
Graduates currently have a higher employment rate than non graduates (86% for graduates as opposed to 72.3% for non graduates)
Graduates generally earn more than non graduates (£15+ an hour versus under £9 for non-graduates)
Source - ONS Graduates in the Labour market 2012 (PDF - 174KB)
University careers services report increased vacancies in IT, engineering, retail and fast-moving consumer goods sectors.
Finance and construction sectors report a more mixed recruitment picture.
Public sector graduate recruitment is down on previous years.
More small and medium sized enterprises are increasing their graduate intake or recruiting graduates for the first time
Large companies in all sectors are continuing to recruit graduates but often in smaller numbers and increasingly via internships or temporary contracts.
Social media is becoming a more popular and cost effective method of recruiting in many sectors.
Some recruiters are restricting on-campus recruitment activity to a smaller number of universities.
Source - AGCAS Quarterly Survey of Vacancies and Employer Activity 2011 Q3
Find out more
What do graduates from my programme go on to do?
Who else can provide me with reliable information?
There are very many websites which provide information on what’s happening in the graduate labour market. Below is a small selection of what’s out there:
What else can I do to build my LMI?
Take a regular peek at the news items on graduate careers sites such as
Follow the Twitter feeds of professional associations in your chosen work sector for developments in a particular profession or graduate career area and for general trends, those of careers organisations such as Chris from AGCAS or any of those listed above.