Grad jobs market to rise, says ISE poll

07 Jan 2022

Job vacancies for graduates have risen by 20% compared to 2019’s pre-pandemic levels and are due to increase further over the year. According to the Institute of Student Employers’ (ISE) annual Vacancy Survey, grad job vacancies will increase by 22% this year compared to 2021, as reported by Britain’s largest graduate employers. Competition was especially high last year with an average of 91 grads applying for each role. 


Job growth by sector
The survey reveals that those sectors which are likely to see the highest jobs growth for graduates in 2022 are the built environment (48%), energy, engineering and industry (41%), and health and pharmaceuticals (37%). In contrast, the only industry to report a fall in the number of grad jobs this year is the charity and public sector, yet there are still more vacancies than reported in 2019. All sectors have, however, returned to pre-coronavirus levels, except for jobs in fast-moving consumer goods and retail.


Competition for grad jobs
The poll by the Institute of Student Employers also found that although competition for grad roles hit an all-time high last year, 48% of graduate employers had received less applications than the same time last year. The main reason for this is due to a rise in grad vacancies. According to Stephen Isherwood, chief executive of ISE: “The number of graduate jobs has slowly increased but this is the first time we’ve seen hiring back to pre-pandemic levels. It demonstrates business confidence and how much employers continue to value a degree. This is great news for those job hunting. The hike in vacancies means a return to a student-driven market. However, with a significant number of employers noting a drop in the quality of applicants, students should be aware of resting on their laurels.” He went on to say: “The graduate labour market is and always has been competitive. While students should feel confident about their prospects, they need to apply themselves rigorously to their job search and make every application count.”