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Features

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Posted on 25 July 2017

Education

Students seek postgraduate study to shelter from Brexit

There have been sharp falls in the proportion of final-year university students applying for jobs thought to be exposed to Brexit turmoil.


Brexit has plunged graduates from Britain’s leading universities into deep pessimism about their career prospects, with students shunning sectors such as finance and accountancy over fears of disruption resulting from exiting the European Union.
A survey of 20,000 students finishing their undergraduate studies this summer found their outlook had turned gloomy for the first time since the global financial crisis. Nearly three out of four students said they expect a tougher job market in the aftermath of the EU referendum result.
The survey of 20,000 final year undergraduates - carried out by a recruitment consultancy, High Fliers Research - revealed that while management consultancy and the media remained the most popular sectors for job seekers, there were sharp falls in the proportion applying for jobs thought to be exposed to Brexit turmoil.
The numbers applying for jobs in investment banking fell by nearly 16% in 2017 compared with a year earlier, while 18% fewer applied for jobs in finance and the numbers applying for accountancy positions was down 21%.
The survey also found that an increasing proportion of students continue into postgraduate study, confirming a trend in official data that has seen more recent graduates enrol in advanced degrees with the availability of postgraduate loans to pay for tuition fees.
Asked specifically about the impact of Brexit, 71% of final year undergraduates said it meant fewer graduate jobs in 2017, while just 5% thought it would mean more jobs. The survey found that 92% of respondents had voted to remain.


Richard Adams, Education editor The Guardian•12 July 2017