The Future Graduate Job Market is Digital

May 9, 2019

In a month’s time, when 750,000 first degree and Masters’ graduates will emerge onto the job market ready to work, what will they discover? More importantly, will they understand how to make what they find out about the graduate job market work in their favour?

Despite the doom and gloom of a media obsessed with Brexit and predicting its negative effects, our UK job market is doing a fine job of remaining robust.

Those searching for a graduate job right now should feel encouraged to know that more people than ever before are employed in the UK. In fact, the nation is enjoying one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe.

New graduates should, however, keep in mind that competition for graduate jobs remains as tough as ever. 

Over the past 12 months, blue-chip companies have advertised 22,000 graduate-level positions, and while that might sound like a lot, you should be aware that these employers receive upwards of 500 applications for every role.

What does this suggest about the competition?

That while graduates are encouraged to apply for the best jobs, what applicants are often not aware of is just how competitive the job market is. Not all recruiters will tell you that.

One recruiter for a major investment bank we spoke to recently informed us that for every 100 new entry-level vacancies they have, they receive well over 100,000 applications, from different parts of the world. What’s more, 85 of these 100 positions were filled from Summer 2018 Internships at the bank last September.

What does this mean for UK graduates?

  1. For every entry-level graduate job, there will be a huge number of applications from around the world (not just the UK).
  2. With so much choice of candidate, it’s an employers’ market.
  3. It explains why only 52% of graduates land a graduate-level job.
  4. And it explains why anyone who has gone through the angst to invest all that money, time and effort needs to be clued up on the graduate job market, and how to navigate it. Otherwise, they will find it a total waste.

The baristas of the UK have never been so highly academically qualified as they are today, and this is quite possibly the reason why!

Employers have not been shy in telling us that they are just not interested in interviewing a graduate who lacks employment experience in the field they want to work in, and/or has not completed an internship.

That may seem like bad news, but it is not. Far from it. It’s an insight into what a graduate must do to land one of these highly sought-after positions. If you can see it for what it is, and run with it, you will be better off than most.

Those who enter the job market without the certainty of knowing which careers are best suited to them, or without the skills and confidence to handle interviews or without appropriate non-academic experience, have zero to little chance of succeeding on the graduate market.

How do you go about that?

Any graduate with the will and desire to land a graduate-level job role can land one, particularly with the knowledge of a company like ourselves.

We believe the high level of insights we offer will help. One of these is about knowing where to look when searching for employment.

Start by reading this article by Douglas McWilliams the President of CEBR:

This is a wake-up call for government and opinion-formers alike, about the importance of the digital economy and its relevance in creating success for UK plc.

The article was prompted by his 2015 book, The Flat White Economy, which led to some further reflections.

(In case you were wondering, the immense amount of flat white coffee consumed in Shoreditch and other “digital hubs” is what gives the book its title!)

In discussions with Douglas, he said to us,

What actually mainly drives it (the growth of the digital economy) is the huge scale of online business – a much higher share in the UK than in any other major economy. The online activity drives massive amounts of online marketing. In addition we have a relatively large fintech sector.

Douglas McWilliams

It is predicted that 60% of all jobs will have digital elements by 2025.

Yet, we have discovered something interesting – that 60% of all new graduate entry-level jobs are already digital in some way.

This information was gathered from insights about the jobs the graduates we’ve helped have been landing since January.

Take a look at this list:

  • 2 in Machine learning or Artificial intelligence (AI)
  • 4 in digital marketing
  • 2 in IT consultancy
  • 2 in app development

We have also been running daily checks on new graduate positions consistently over the past 8 weeks. We have used, which is recognised as one of the largest UK job sites.

They advertise 25,000 graduate jobs approximately on a daily basis, and 60% of these are prefaced with words such as (Graduate) Tech, IT or digital.

This is good news for every single graduate (and their parents)!

While some of these are coder jobs or require degrees in computer science, 85% simply require some interest in digital, as well as the determination to make a career in this fast-paced and future proof way of creating a career.

If I was to offer any advice to the parents and young people out there who are searching for a job right now, it would be this: look very carefully at the variety of tech and digital options available.

These companies vary in size and type yet the majority of them are willing and keen to train up their future employees in the role. There are simply not enough graduates out there with the digital skills required to do the job.

In addition to this, these companies simply seek the typical skills and competencies that employers usually look for…

master 6 employability skills

I think it is fitting to conclude with our spin on this well-known advertising slogan as it sums it up perfectly, “The future is bright; the future is digital”.

How we help

The Student Book & The Graduate Book: Get (& Thrive In) The Job You Really Want

Chris Davies is the author of The Student Book, All you need to know to get the job you really want and The Graduate Book, All you need to know to do really well at work. The Student Book has made it on to the list of the 21 books every 20-year-old should read!

One-to-One Coaching: Stages 1 to 6

If you’re a student or graduate looking for help, our 6 stage one-to-coaching includes learning about yourself, creating a career plan, creating your CV, cover letters and LinkedIn profile, applying for jobs, interview coaching and job coaching and mentoring.

Our coaching follows a six-stage process. You don’t have to do all six stages. You can simply choose the help you need most. But when you choose all six stages, we guarantee success.

Do you need help finding your dream graduate job?

You can book a FREE 15-minute coaching call with Chris Davies!

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