The Graduate League: How does your university town rate?
To do this we looked at the big factors in graduate employment. These were your degree grade, a clear indicator of intelligence, hard work and application while you were at university, and whether or not you had managed to gain work experience, internship or similar alongside your studies to show employers you were ready to start work. The data was taken from when graduates registered with graduate-jobs.com between 2009 and 2014.
So without further ado, let's have a look at the winners, losers, movers and shakers to see which town, city or region can be crowed the Graduate Champion.
We looked at the percentages for these classifications across the UK, to see which place can be regarded as producing the highest level of smart graduates. Looking at the national averages from our own databases, 9.8% of graduates received the top classification of a First Class Degree, 48.1% of graduates received an Upper Second Class degree (2.1) and 17.1% received a Lower Second Class degree. This left 17.1% receiving just a pass.
Making it to the podium for an impressive amount of First Class degree graduates were Bournemouth and Manchester. Home to lots of universities, these two places managed to produce an impressive 11.7% of graduates each who were intelligent enough and had applied themselves enough to be awarded First Class degrees. Graduates from here will certainly be in good stead when hunting for their graduate jobs.
In Joint second we have the York and Brighton for awarding the second highest number of Firsts to their respective graduates. All of the universities in both Brighton and York were successful in producing highly educated and astute graduates, with a whopping 12.5% of graduates who left these universities receiving a First Class degree for their hard endeavours of their three years studying.
1st Place - Colchester
The winner for producing the highest percentage of First Class degree graduates was Colchester. The Essex town has topped the list for producing a staggering 13% of their graduates intelligent and applied enough graduates to reach the top mark. Well done Colchester!
After looking at the data, it's worth making a special acknowledgement to a certain UK City. Nottingham, a large university town in itself must be acknowledge for producing the highest volume of graduates with an Upper Second Class degree. An impressive 59.7% of graduates who studied in the East Midlands city had managed to receive the mark which a lot of employers use as a suitability measure.
Work experience is viewed by many employers as being fundamental to a graduate's employability. This shows employers a range of things including how prepared they are for the role, how passionate they are about working in that particular area of work and how well they would be able to cope in a particular, or in fact any, working environment. However, work experience is a broad term that covers, internships, part time work, work placements and many similar terms. The national average for graduates with work experience was 16.6%, making those with work experience incredibly hot property.
3rd Place - Northern Ireland
Coming up in third place for the highest volume of graduates with work experience is Northern Ireland. With just short of one in four graduates (24.9%) having work experience, employers will no doubt be impressed by how seriously graduates of Northern Ireland are taking their futures. This might not seem like much but is certainly persuasive when the UK average is just 16.6%.
2nd Place - Bath
Coming up in second place is the Somerset spa city of Bath. Being a head of the game and getting work experience while you're still at university can be key to helping your chances once you graduate and there are certainly no flies on students in Bath. A praiseworthy 28.9% of graduates who registered with graduate-jobs.com who studied in the city of Bath have work experience and they will be near the front of the pack when it comes to getting the graduate jobs.
1st Place - Bournemouth
Galloping ahead and making its graduates as employable as they can be, was a town on the south coast, Bournemouth. The students who studied there certainly knew it seems that to get anywhere in the graduate job hunt, you're going to need some work experience. So a mind blowing 31.7% of graduates went out there and found some. This is nearly double the national average and is really impressive when employers start looking at applications from students who studied there.
A special acknowledgement is made for graduates who studied in the city of Oxford. An impressive 23% of its graduates who studied in the city had work experience when it came to leaving university. This is much higher than the national average and will really help improve graduates who can say they are ready to start work or already have experience of working in that particular field.
By James Howell