According to figures by the Higher Education Careers Services Unit, 21,020 students who graduated in 2009 are still out of work – that's nearly 9% of the total number of graduates, up by 1% from the year before. This is the highest level for 17 years, the study suggests, when graduate unemployment reached 11.6% in 1993.
The research also shows that last year’s graduates had different levels of success depending on the course they studied. IT graduates struggled the most to find work, with an unemployment rate of 16%r - while those who studied engineering, media studies or architecture also had fairly bleak prospects with a jobless rate above 10%. By contrast, geography and psychology graduates had a better than average chance of getting work.
The research comes as the government plans to substantially increase the amount students pay for their degrees. But with graduate unemployment so high, many will be questioning whether a bill of up to £80,000, if the government’s proposals are to be implemented, will be worth it.