2020 graduates: nearly half now considering a postgraduate course

New Prospects research shows effect of lockdown on the plans and feelings of 2020 graduates

2020 graduates are feeling negative about their career opportunities, with almost half now contemplating a postgraduate course, according to a new survey from Prospects.

Graduating into a pandemic: the impact on university finalists saw the graduate careers service, which is part of Jisc, question nearly 5,000 students and graduates.

The survey revealed:

  • 64.6% of finalists now feel negative about their job prospects
  • 83% reported that they are lacking in motivation
  • 82% feel disconnected from employers
  • 29% of final year students have lost their jobs
  • 26% have lost their internships
  • 28% have had their graduate job offer deferred or rescinded
  • Almost half (47%) of finalists are now contemplating a postgraduate course
  • 29% are considering a career change
  • 60% of finalists said they were worried about virtual interviews and assessment centres
  • 72% wanted help and advice
  • Only 18% of university finalists are feeling positive about their career prospects – this is more evident in men (29%) than women (14%)

“There is a serious problem brewing for this year’s graduates,” said Jayne Rowley, executive director of student services at Jisc. “This is a critical time for finalists who should be developing their skills in part-time jobs and internships and we need to do everything we can to support them.

Students would be amazed at how many valuable skills they are developing during lockdown, such as organisation, communication and resilience

“Graduating in this pandemic may have taken many important opportunities away, but getting a career started is not insurmountable.

“We are all adapting to extraordinary circumstances and I think students would be amazed at how many valuable skills they are developing during lockdown, such as organisation, communication and resilience. Students may be supporting vulnerable people, shopping for neighbours, setting up a virtual group or sharing their talents online. My advice to students is to reflect on all of the positive things they are doing and use them to demonstrate their skills to employers.

“There is lots of advice and guidance for students and graduates on our website and don’t forget university careers services, which are doing everything possible to support students and graduates during this difficult time.”


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