Graduate Employment is on the rise again.
For a while there it looked as though the value of having a 3rd level education was going to be undermined to the point of collapse; but with blue skies once again on the horizon of the UK economy, the tables are perhaps beginning to turn once more.
Yes it seems that recent figures released by the government suggest that there are more graduates in work now, than at any time since 2007. This means that for the average graduate, the prospects of employment are now at an 8 year high!
Nonetheless it has been a testing few years for all involved, and these positive figures represent the thin edge of what has been an exceptionally hefty wedge. This is particularly evident in government’s figures regarding average salaries.
In the past 5 year’s graduates have experienced a £1000K drop in median salaries- which might not sound like a life-changing sum, but coupled with the rate of inflation (which has been substantial for some time during this period) then you begin to appreciate the reversal of fortunes which some graduates have experienced.
Someone with a degree earns on average almost £10,000K more per annum than someone without one.
For example, figures gathered in Q1 of this year, suggest that graduates on average earned £31,200 (pro rata), while non-graduates were paid £22,100. But in the same period of 2010, graduates typically earned £32,396, some £1,196 more than they do now.
As always these figures come with a footnote; since they represent average salaries, they make no account of regional disparities in the level of pay which still remain troublingly significant.
A report published earlier this year revealed that they highest salaries in the UK are found (not surprisingly) in the London area, with the average coming in at around £42,000. This is some £8000 higher than the total average for the UK, which currently stands at £34,000. The average salary in Scotland is £33,000, followed by South East England at £32,800. Lagging far behind in terms of advertised salaries is Northern Ireland, which despite posting a healthy increase of 5.8% on the previous year, remains bottom of the list with £29,700, but clipping the heels of Wales which saw just a 1.7 % increase to £29,000.