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Exploring the new graduate labour market


Exploring the new graduate labour market ... whatever [from] people who are my accounts asking for information or quotes - or ... so a day isn't that typical! ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Exploring the new graduate labour market

Exploring the new graduate labour market
A presentation to the Graduate Labour Market
Forum, 15th December 2003, Westminster,
London Kate Purcell, University of the West of
England, Peter Elias, University of Warwick and
Nick Wilton, University of the West of England
Structure of the presentation
  • a brief outline of the development and validation
    of SOC(HE)
  • an exploration of labour market experiences of
    1995 graduates Seven Years On using SOC(HE)
  • a comparison of the characteristics of those in
    different SOC(HE) categories, using data from
    both the survey and follow-up interviews to
    investigate the extent to which graduates in the
    sample were using their HE skills and knowledge.

Slide 3
The nature of occupational change
  • Scientific/technological development
  • Growth of disposable income
  • Organisational change
  • The knowledge society or graduate

Slide 4
Measuring occupational change in relation to
higher education
  • Our approach
  • Examine occupational structure at the most
    detailed statistical level (300-400 unit groups)
  • Problems
  • Tautological definition must distinguish
    between unit groups which become populated by HE
    leavers because of overcrowding and changes in
    the nature of work
  • Need to convert/recode data at the most detailed
    level to overcome problems of revisions to

Slide 6
SOC(HE) a new typology of occupations
  • Traditional graduate occupations
  • Modern graduate occupations
  • New graduate occupations
  • Niche graduate occupations
  • Non-graduate occupations

Slide 8
Traditional graduate occupations
The established professions, for which,
historically, the normal route has been via an
undergraduate degree programme
  • Solicitors and barristers
  • Medical practitioners
  • HE, FE and secondary education teachers
  • Biological scientists/biochemists
  • Management consultants, actuaries, economists
  • statisticians

In 2001 2003 we observe gt60 of graduates in
21-35 and 45-54 age groups
Slide 9
Modern graduate occupations
The newer professions, particularly in
management, IT and creative vocational areas,
which graduates have been entering increasingly
since educational expansion in the 1960s
  • IT consultants
  • Authors/writers/journalists
  • Software and design engineers
  • Primary school teachers
  • Social workers

Not Traditional and in 2001 2003 we observe
gt40 of graduates in 21-35 and 45-54 age groups
Slide 10
New graduate occupations
Areas of employment to which graduates have
increasingly been recruited in large numbers
mainly administrative, design, technical and
caring occupations
  • Marketing sales managers
  • Physiotherapists, occupational therapists
  • Accountants, finance managers
  • HR Managers
  • Product, project development managers
  • Project engineers

Not Traditional or Modern but in 2001 2003 we
observe gt25 of graduates in 21-35 age group and
this is gt10 points higher than 45-54 age group
Slide 11
Niche graduate occupations
Occupations where the majority of incumbents are
not graduates, but within which there are stable
or growing specialist niches which require higher
education skills and knowledge
  • Civil Service executive officers
  • Graphic designers
  • Hotel, entertainment and sports managers
  • Retail managers
  • Medical, dental and other scientific
  • Nurses

Not Traditional, Modern or New, but a significant
proportion of degree holders in both 21-35 and
45-54 age groups, and we are aware of areas of
employment in this unit group which are graduate
Slide 12
Non-graduate occupations
Graduates are also found in jobs which are likely
to constitute under-utilisation of their higher
education skills and knowledge
  • Call centre operators (16 of 21-35 year olds
    have degree)
  • Sales assistants (15 of 21-35 year olds have
  • Filing and record clerks (21 of 21-35 year
    olds have degree)
  • Debt, rent and cash collectors (2 of 21-35
    year olds have degree)
  • Routine laboratory testers (36 of 21-35 year
    olds have degree)

(Non-graduate includes all remaining unit groups)
Slide 13
Slide 19
Occupational structure of the UK labour force,
2001 - 2003
The Seven Years On research
  • Longitudinal survey of 50 of 1995 graduates from
    38 UK Higher Education Institutions, including
    full work histories
  • 3.5 years after graduation, in 1998/99
  • 7 years after graduation, in 2002/3
  • Programme of telephone and face to face
    interviews with 200 second sweep respondents
  • Evidence from the 1995 graduate cohort study
    validates SOC(HE).

Slide 14
The movement of 1995 graduates into the labour
market, 1995 - 2003
Occupational history of 1995 graduates (SOC2000
version of HE occupational classification)
(No Transcript)
Degree required for job held in 2002/03, by
gender and type of occupation
Slide 15
Percentage of respondents stating that their
current (2002/03) job is a 'dead-end' job, by
type of occupation and gender
Slide 18
Graduates employed in traditional graduate
Graduates in niche graduate occupations
Graduates working in non-graduate occupations
Skills used 'a lot' by 1995 graduates in current
job at time of 2002/3 survey
Use of organisational skills in current job, by
SOC(HE) category
Proportion of 1995 graduates who spend most of
their time supervising the work of others, by
SOC(HE) category
Those in New and Niche Graduate Occupations are..
  • More likely
  • to work in the private sector in a large
  • to be using entrepreneurial skills, management
    skills and leadership skills
  • to supervise the work of others
  • Less likely
  • to have done a postgraduate degree
  • New graduate jobs were mostly done in
    male-dominated contexts/ niche graduate jobs in
    female-dominated contexts, and those employed
    full time in New graduate jobs were more likely
    than those in other categories to earn 40K)
  • BUT what do these graduates DO? And does it
    differ from the work that those in traditional
    and modern graduate jobs do?

We identified three clusters of intrinsic
skills in graduate occupations..
  • Expertise
  • Strategic skills
  • Emotional labour skills

  • specific, specialist technical knowledge and
    skills that are essential/central to the
    undertaking of a job. This expertise is most
    often acquired on vocational degree courses,
    sometimes followed by postgraduate study or
    professional training and accreditation. Jobs
    positioned at the expert extreme are typically
    roles with a high level of emphasis on technical
    analysis, problem diagnosis and solution.

Strategic skills
  • the generic skills set required to plan,
    co-ordinate and administer processes and
    (usually) people. For example, most senior
    management jobs require elements of substantive
    expertise and interpersonal skills but at core,
    their successful performance relies on vision,
    capacity to evaluate risks and opportunities and
    take effective strategic decisions.

Emotional labour skills
  • a high level of emotional intelligence and the
    involve a substantial emotional labour component
    (Hochschild 1983) the ability to manage one's
    own or other people's emotions in carrying out
    the work objectives. Examples of jobs that
    require hard interpersonal skills include
    negotiation, selling and persuasion. Soft
    Interpersonal skills are associated with caring,
    counselling and welfare provision. Liaison
    skills require both elements.

Interview Sample (189 cases) - Mean skills scores
by SOC(HE)
New Graduate Job University Marketing Officer
(female age 30 graduated in hospitality
management from new university, 18-30K
  • If I am in the office, , I am juggling a lot
    of things. It could involve liasing with the
    designer over the latest piece of publicity
    material, or liasing with the person who is
    providing content for that. . . I might be proof
    reading, or checking documentation. I would
    probably go to a meeting to discuss the various
    projects, or keep people updated generally on
    what I am doing. I am the only person that
    deals with marketing in the faculty. I spend a
    lot of time telling other people what Ive been
    up to, or they are instructing me what the next
    policy things are going to be which we are going
    to have to meet. So meetings. Answering
    enquiries, maybe feeding stories through to the
    pressvery, very varied. If I am not in the
    office, then I might be at an event, in which
    case I am travelling to a venue, setting up the
    stands and then spending the next day, 5 hours,
    talking to students or potential students about
    our courses, entry requirements, facilities,etc
    and then packing up and coming home.

New Graduate Job Sales Marketing Executive
for a ICT manufacturer (female graduate in
medical instrumentation computing,new
university, 24-27K)
  • Respondent We deal with people all around the
    world so first thing in the morning there are
    e-mails from people in America or people in
    Singapore or whatever from people who are my
    accounts asking for information or quotes - or
    theyre people who are doing an evaluation and
    are asking questions How do you do this or
    that, how much does it cost? . I also tend to
    co-ordinate a lot of things because . the team
    that Im in, we have a business development
    manager, a technical manager and then a technical
    engineer as well, and I tend to work between them
    keeping everything going and making sure the
    customers are all up to date on whats going on,
    so theres a lot of liasing. Then I might be on
    site visiting customers doing a training course.
    I went to America last year to visit one of my
    customers and did a couple of days
    workshop/presentation on the new release of the
    software .. so a day isnt that typical!
  • Interviewer It sounds as if there isa
    significant technical element, even though youre
    not necessarily involved in the software
    development directly, that you have a kind of
    support role
  • Respondent Yeah I think we all do, everyone in
    the company because the products that were
    selling are very technical and very specialist so
    the people that were talking to are technical
    people - so we have to be able to converse at
    that level, so I think everybody has a technical

New graduate Job Regional Sales Manager for
Brewery ( Male, aged 29, with Psychology degree
from new university, 36-40k)
  • Every day is different. I would say that I work
    from home at least one day a week. I would
    probably be in a meeting one day a week and the
    other three days I would be out in trade with my
    sales teamat the moment he manages nine
    people. Thats quite motivating to see people
    start off very raw, very inexperienced, and to
    train them and develop them to be competent, to
    perform in the role and then take them forward
    again, to move them on with the business. That,
    in itself, is rewarding. And also the challenge
    of achieving results.

Niche Graduate Job Technical Manager for food
manufacturing company (female aged 28 with degree
in food science/microbiology from 1960s
university, 50-60K)
  • I get up around 6 oclock, earlier if Im doing
    a hygiene audit when you have to be on the site
    for 5 oclock in the morning. But typical day
    get up at 6 oclock, probably leave the house
    just before 7 and arrive at work at 7.30plug the
    laptop in, read the e-mails, delegate it, delete
    it, whatever. We have a management meeting at
    8.30 every day where we go through key issues for
    the day and that generally takes around half an
    hour. Then the next couple of hours is spent
    dealing with whatever immediate issues are going
    on in the factory there might be quality
    problems, issues with temperatures or whatever
    So deal with those. Then typically a lot of my
    day is spent dealing with customer requests, so
    do that, responses to complaints, dealing with
    environmental health officers A lot of the day
    could be spent working on various large projects
    such as, in January, the whole industry is going
    over to a new packaging format so obviously
    thats only just around the corner. Theres no
    set structure to the day really, my role is
    overseeing everything that happens..

Non-graduate Job University Admin Officer,
graduated in Plant Environmental Biology from
old university, female age 29, 18-21K
  • Respondent What we spend some of the time
    doing is going out to departments or to other
    institutions that we validate programmes for and
    then so, we go out and monitor them from a
    quality assurance point of view. Theres a lot of
    time involved in planning those visits and then
    the follow-up from those visits, particularly the
    report writing. So, a typical day you might be
    spending a lot of time sitting in front of a
    computer writing a report on a visit that you did
    a week before but then you might also be going
    out and having a quick meeting with someone in
    the department, seeing how things are going or
    youll probably be meeting a couple of people
    planning future visits. On a regular basis
    there is.. a lot of writing, meetings, committee
    meetings, liasing with staff from the
    departments, staff in designated institutions...
    Those sort of thingsChecking that departments
    are maintaining academic standards, I guess is a
    way of looking at it.

  • Traditional and Modern graduate occupations and
    New and Niche differ, but there are significant
    overlaps between them
  • New graduate occupations mainly encompass new
    areas of management and administration that
    involve the need for hybrid skills that range
    from high to routine reflecting flat
    organisations and occupational restructuring
  • Niche occupations most often involve junior
    management or specialisms within non graduate
  • The boundaries between graduate and non-graduate
    employment are changing in many areas of work
  • A significant proportion of those in
    Non-graduate jobs are using their skills and
    knowledge appropriately.
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