Like all statistics, they only tell part of the story. While the employment and further training rate varies between almost 100% and a rather more sobering 70%, recent changes in what the Higher Education Statistics Agency actually asks graduates means that finally we can begin to look at job satisfaction, whether employment is ‘graduate level’, how many graduates start their dream careers and how many are simply ‘treading water’ and waiting for something better to come along.
The newspapers, unsurprisingly, still tend to pick up on the bald statistics of employment versus unemployment as a way to generate attention-grabbing headlines.
There’s another group though, behind the conventional employment statistics, graduates who either want to join a small business and make their mark or those who have a bright idea that they want to turn into their own successful new business.
Small businesses are the backbone of the UK economy and it is likely that many of today’s graduates will end up working for one or perhaps become an owner-manager themselves.
Small firms can all too often be overlooked as potential employers, by graduates whose focus is all too often on larger organisations.
Meanwhile, armed with some funding and basic start-up knowledge, potentially a huge range of exciting business opportunities and more satisfying lifestyles are available to graduates who want to gain more control over their careers and personal lives. And the chance, of course, to make some serious money if all goes well.