The employability of Cambridge graduates proved resilient in the downturn in last year’s graduate job market, according to newly released statistics from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).

Graduates from the University of Cambridge last year achieved a 95.2% employability rating in HESA’s performance indicators for the number of graduates who successfully found work or went on to to further study following graduation.

This is an increase of more than three per cent on last year’s employability rating at a time when there was considerably reduced opportunity in the graduate employment market.

Cambridge had the highest employability rating of the Russell Group Universities in the Indicators and compared well with specialist institutions in particular fields.

Gordon Chesterman, Director of the Careers Service believes the achievement was due to a number of factors, but that the students had really helped themselves in difficult circumstances:

“Credit for this has got to go to the students in many ways, as they really took notice of the economic climate and engaged with the Careers Service early and often.

"They gave themselves realistic goals and were prepared to make their B and C plans their plan A where appropriate. They also listened to careers advisers here, and made fewer, well-researched applications rather than just adopting a scattergun approach.”

A range of special additional services was offered to students graduating last year to combat the contracting graduate market of the time, including a regular advice blog, putting on more employer-run skills workshops, holding special clinics for graduates in London, trawling for additional vacancies with dormant employers and employing extra part-time staff to advise students.

Gordon Chesterman said the success evidenced in the latest HESA statistics is also testament to his staff, who were prepared to pull out all the stops for the students, and the practical assistance of the University:

“The University recognised at an early point the extraordinary economic circumstances the graduate market faced last year, and provided extra resource to ensure that students were as well supported as possible in their career search.

"The results, as seen in the HESA tables, are a great example of what joined-up working across the Colleges, Departments and University can really achieve.”

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