Those who studied in Leicester were not only exposed to a thriving city, but also received a first rate university education, when they studied at either the University of Leicester or De Montfort University. Both universities are well regarded among graduate employers and are known for producing fantastic graduates who are successful when they join their workforce. But we wanted to know exactly why Leicester graduates were so well regarded.
To do this we looked at the data collected when graduates registered on graduate-jobs.com. We looked at figures for those who registered on our site between the year 2009 and 2014. We looked at what trends we could see in terms of career ambitions for graduates from Leicester's universities, what grades graduates were being awarded and how well they had managed to prepare themselves for the working world by gaining some form of work experience. From looking at these details and data we can see exactly why graduate employers were battling each other to recruit graduates from Leicester.
When registering with graduate-jobs.com, graduates can choose up to seven sectors that they would like to work in. From this we looked at the most popular sectors chosen by graduates who studied in Leicester to see if there was any trends we could see when we drew the results against the most popular sectors chosen by graduates from across the UK.
Looking at the sectors chosen by graduates who studied in Leicester, we can see that the top 5 sectors are Management, Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations, Banking and Finance. These are exactly the same as those seen in the top five most popular sectors across the UK. This is little surprise as they are sectors than are attractive to graduates from a range of degree backgrounds.
This is the area Leicester graduates really shine. Increasingly, employers are looking for graduates that have not only worked hard, but applied themselves to the task and been successful in their endeavours and nowhere is this more evident than in their degree grade. Leicester graduates certainly look impressive when looking at these statistics. A staggering 12.5% of graduates from universities in Leicester left with the top classification, A First Class degree, higher than the national average of 9.8%.
Leicester graduates do not cease to impress there, they have also achieved more than their share of Upper Second Class degrees, the benchmark for graduate employers who regard this as a good degree. Across the UK, 48.1% of graduates received a 2.1, while an impressive 55.9% of Leicester's studious and bright graduates got this mark. This left just 14.8% of Leicester graduates receiving the respectful 2.2 classification and 2.4% of graduates passing their degree.
Having under taken some form of work experience or an internship is a real sign to employers that graduates are passionate about a particular role or sector, and it also shows employers that they have taken steps to ease themselves into the working world. This is an area, however, that Leicester's high achieving graduates do not fare as well as they could have. Only 11% of graduates from the East Midlands city managed to gain some form of work experience alongside their degree, lower than the national average of 16.6%. Employers will not be totally put off graduates without experience as long as graduates from the city can give them every reason that they are right for the role.