Go Higher: Scotland and Northern Ireland - Just the job: Scotland & Northern Ireland

FINISHING YOUR course and getting through finals isn't the end of student troubles. For the vast majority of graduates, seeking work is the biggest single worry. However, despite rising numbers of people entering higher education, employment rates are relatively high.

The average rate of employment for graduates six months after completing courses in Scotland and Northern Ireland is 66 per cent. Of these, one in six will go into a job loosely categorised as management or administration - ranging from working in Government departments to shops, while nearly 50 per cent will move into "professional" jobs.

The highest employment rates tend to be for those who have completed vocational courses such as law, medicine and accountancy, but as many as one in 10 graduates opt for a professional teaching post of one kind or another.

Northern Ireland does tend to have lower graduate employment rates for those remaining in the province but, as with most places, specialist skills such as computing and IT are very much in demand.

Student employment rates in Scotland are higher, with Heriot-Watt taking the lead with a graduate employment rate of over 89 per cent within a year of graduation. This is due in some part to the specialist nature of Heriot-Watt courses, and also to their strong ties with industry.

The losers in all areas are arts and social science graduates. Without vocational skills, their qualifications can seem a little unwieldy, and there is no set pattern to their employment. The successful tend to be those who have found other ways of gaining experience.

Voluntary work in an area that you have an interest in can be of great use, and shows a commitment to working without reliance on pay, and work placements with companies can be an excellent foot-in-the-door step. Building relationships with prospective employers means you are known, and therefore a safer employment bet.

Another option for graduates is post-graduate study. If funding can be found, this drastically increases the chances of employment. Of graduates from 1995-6, those who went on to complete post-graduate courses reduced their chances of unemployment to one in 20. At the moment about one in five graduates are entering further study.

Both Scotland and Northern Ireland have flourishing technology industries. New companies are being established all the time, and often start with a number of recent graduates because of their fresh perspective on work.

Those who move away from their base of study tend to be more likely to gain employment. It is as yet unknown, though, how this likelihood is affected by those students who return to their home areas, and how many already have employment offers before leaving their place of study.

A rising field, and one ever-popular with graduates, is the media. Scotland is enjoying something of an Indian summer in the media industries, with the devolved BBC network, a new Channel 4 Glasgow office, and much discussion over the blossoming Scottish film industry.

As the days of heavy industry in Belfast and Scotland are left way behind, communication, media and new technologies will become the new focus for regional industry. These are the future graduate employers, so students need to keep a close eye on what's happening.

GLITTERING ALUMNI

Robin Cook: Foreign Secretary and graduate of Edinburgh University

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...

    Ashdown Group: Database Analyst - Birmingham - £22,000 plus benefits

    £20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

    SThree: Recruitment Resourcer

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: Do you want to get in...

    Ashdown Group: Project Manager - Birmingham - up to £40,000 - 12 month FTC

    £35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Manager - Birmingham - ...

    Day In a Page

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before