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Graduate survey brings in 500 responses in just 8 hours

Citizens Advice Scotland’s survey of recent graduates received over 500 responses between 8am and 4pm on its first day. And responses are still coming in thick and fast.

The survey focuses on the problems graduates face in trying to find work. It is open to anyone in Scotland who graduated in the last six years, and is available at the Citizens Advice Scotland website,

CAS spokesperson Sarah Beattie-Smith says:

“We expected to get a good response, but the numbers we’re getting today are really extraordinary. This is on course to be the biggest survey of its kind in Scotland.

“We want to get as much info as possible though, so I hope all graduates will go to our website and be a part of our survey. It doesn’t take long to complete, and it’s a platform to have their say about their experience of the job market, and of the support – or lack of it - that has been available to them.

“We intend to take the findings to governments, employers and universities, and hopefully get people thinking about how to improve the situation for future graduates.”

The survey is open till 7 May, after which we will publish a detailed analysis.

But a small selection of the comments received today are listed blow:


In one of the questions, we asked the respondents what advice they would give to current students, regarding the job market. This is a random sample of the responses….NB This is just a very small sample of comments. They have been cut and pasted just as we received them.

  • Think very carefully about university. It leaves you in a lot of debt and if the course or university are not highly regarded, you're wasting your time and money.
  • You're better off working on your social and networking skills, gaining "life experience" and doing internships than getting the actual degree itself.
  • Do internships. Be involved in Sports Teams and University Societies. Do exchanges abroad.
  • Do an easy subject at an easy university. It's all about the grade, not the degree.
  • Start searching at the begining of your final year; don't wait until your degree is finished.
  • Think carefully about your course - is it really what you want to work in? If not, try and transfer.
  • It's really tough. I'm still unsure of where I'm going myself. But I would recommend putting in some research into the types of jobs that might be available and what skills are required for them. Research graduate jobs in advance and don't leave it until the last minute or after you've left.
  • keep your fingers crossed
  • Go out your way to gain relevant work experience and 'add-ons' for your CV. I would say do not be scared to start off fairly low level after graduating, my first job was not my dream job and not what I expected to be doing as a graduate but it has helped me get on to a better job now. Keep thinking about the opportunities and networking. A degree is not enough today.
  • Expect the worst.
  • Make sure your chosen degree is job specific, choose a career you know you can make money from, dont choose to study something because its interesting if you want a comfortable lifestyle.
  • Think carefully about the field you are entering as some are already saturated with unemployed graduates; consider degree courses which provide specific qualifucations for a specific profession; always be prepared to considered retraining or changing fields; don't consider university education and degree acquisition as the be all and end all - there is absolutely nothing wrong in pursuing work-based trainung or apprenticeships.
  • Pray!
  • Take any job related to your degree as soon as you can no matter how poorly paid or tenuous the relationship to your qualification.
  • Join as many univeristy societies as possible and do internships during the summer with organisations relating to your choosen career path.
  • Get work experience after high school and save money. Then when you're between 21 and 25 decide what you have enjoyed doing or want to try and then apply to be an undergraduate. You'll be older, wiser, more efficient with money and better able to organise your life's goals then being lumbered with debts, demands and a life's upheaval at 18 or 19 years old.
  • Get loads of work experience to boost your CV - voluntary experience is great too. Extra curricular activities are all well and good but I think increasingly employers will look for actual work experience (paid or unpaid). Be prepared to start at the bottom or at least lower than you might have planned and work hard to progress quickly. Start planning early, look for jobs or graduate schemes, attend careers fairs and events and apply to as many jobs as possible. Nothing is forever, so if something is not working out you can always change paths, but its better to get into a job and start getting experience.
  • Make yourself stand out. Volunteer or take up extra curricular activities, get involved in groups and societies, get as much experience from your part time work as possible. PLAY THE LOTTERY!
  • Get experience as soon as possible.
  • Abandon hope all ye who enter here
  • Do voluntary work/work experience with companies, preferably for longer periods, and make a good impression. Be confident and always keep an eye out for new positions. Do not be afraid to apply for positions not directly related to your degree.
  • Take what you can get - but dont get pigeon holed
  • Not sure that I'm in a position to be giving advice!
  • Don't go to university unless you are taking a vocational degree.
  • Consider jobs which are outwith your degree subject as it may just get you a foot in the door and lead to the job you want. Any work experience, e.g. office work, will help get a job.
  • Have a good think about what is is you really want to do. Take a few years out if you need to before you decide. get lots of different voluntary work experience to find out what sort of thing you would like to do before choosing a career, preferably something vocational.
  • make sure that you get some sort of work experience in industry and thoroughly check your cv by spending a lot of time on it and get a few different people to check it over for you
  • Don't take a degree just because you find it interesing, make sure that it has direct applications for the job market. Don't go in to teaching.
  • Do a vocational degree that is in demand e.g computing, programming, engineering etc
  • Get as much relevant experience as you can; don't simply do a summer job i.e. in a shop if that's not what you want to make a career out of.
  • Don't take it personally - your whole generation has been fed a pipedream. Expect to spend a lot of time photocopying, helping people on £60k a year work out how to send an email, and correcting your managers' spelling mistakes...
  • Be pro-active about looking for work. Sometimes expectations need to be lowered.
  • Make sure that they gain experience during their degree
  • Think very carefully about what you want from your future before you even get to university, the degree you do could shape the rest of your life. Be prepared to be disappointed, especially if your situation makes gaining experience that would help in securing a graduate job difficult.
  • Fully research your degree and the prospects before hand, though even after graduation this can be mind-boggling.
  • Look for jobs early on, before graduating.
  • Go abroad for a year out and hope for the job market to open up. Get relevant work experience before applying for types of jobs or you will be wasting your time applying. Always ask for feedback from interviews and applications.
  • Don't go to uni - get straight into employment from school and work your way up the ladder.
  • Dont be afraid to use contacts, its often not what you know, but who you know.
  • Apply for as many jobs as possible and try not to narrow youself down to a particular area. Confidence is probably one of the most important attributes to have and develop.