Today’s students have grown up in an era of economic prosperity, but how are they going to deal with an economic recession? With many losing their jobs, and firms cutting back on training and recruitment, it could be the worst time to graduate.
The once buoyant graduate job market is starting to look a little bleaker, with the collapse and nationalisation of several banks this year. The graduate job market relies on jobs in the financial services sector.
At the start of this year’s recruitment cycle, of the top 100 graduate recruiters, 46 were in jobs related to finance. This has been true for years. Between 2003 and 2008 graduate vacancies in accountancy grew by 80%. Jobs in City investment banks grew by 100%.
For the first time since 2003, the total number of vacancies advertised by the top hundred recruiters has fallen this year. This is largely due to the impact of financial services sector being in turmoil.
But not all employers in the financial services sector seem to be having such a hard time, some haven’t been too badly effected. PricewaterhouseCoopers, the UK’s largest graduate recruiter still plans to recruit 1, 200 graduates this year, KPMG 1, 000, Deloitte 1, 000 and Ernst & Young 750.
High street banks are also still recruiting graduates, possibly because they fear that missing out on one year’s graduates can have long term implications when the economy picks up. Maybe they are being optimistic about the length of the recession we are entering.
Graduate recruitment is time-consuming and expensive, but managers believe that cutting back will cause problems with their talent strategy further down the line.
So how are students reacting to the recession? Whilst many live in their student loan and parental hand-out bubble, at least students of economics will understand the implications of the recession.
In research conducted by student representative officers at the University of Liverpool, a quarter of those interviewed were concerned that the global economic downturn would have a negative impact on the value of their qualifications, and 16% said it would make them more likely to consider a postgraduate course. This is a small portion, leading to the conclusion that a large amount of students don’t see the recession as having any impact upon the value of their degree.