Bristol students become more job market savvy

Issue date: 06 April 2006

UWE Students in Bristol are becoming job market savvy by picking more university subjects with specific employment prospects than ever before, a study has shown.

According to new research from the University of the West of England (UWE), the number of people choosing vocational degrees, such as Music Technology, Tourism and Marketing, is rising dramatically and mirroring job markets.

There has also been a rise in attendance of courses that hardly existed ten years ago, like Sports Conditioning, Forensic Science and business-related studies, which, in some cases, are more than trebling their numbers.

The comparative study, which reviewed course choices at UWE over the past ten years, also identified a “huge expansion” in the popularity of Psychology. Researchers say this is possibly due to a positive media image and wide-ranging job choices for Psychology graduates

Initial analysis from the survey indicates these modern course choices have had an impact on enrolment for more conventional subjects such as History, as numbers for these are declining.

However, when taken as part of a joint honours programme, History is also being “revamped” as students partner it with topics like Marketing, a course combination shown to be on the increase, growing from 73 graduates in 1995 to 91 in 2005.

Leading Bristol recruitment agency, Lucy Bristow Appointments, says the research shows that those entering higher education are increasingly considering the needs of employers, and their own post graduate value in the job market, before making course choices.

“There has been a rise in the number of students signing up to courses focused on new areas of interest in popular culture, such as the growth in sports students which reflects the burgeoning health industry and consequent growth in employment opportunities,” said Wendy Trevett, operations director at Lucy Bristow Appointments.

“Ten years ago most business graduates entered more traditional management or administrative roles after graduation. Diversity in the workplace means that there is now a greater variety of positions available, from event managers and sales executives to operations managers and finance officers, which we work very closely with employers to fill. It is not surprising, therefore, that business courses are so popular.”

On the change over the past ten years in the breadth of UWE courses, Wendy commented: “Previously, marketing was a general subject studied as part of a business degree. It now stands in its own right as both a course option and a desirable profession. We place people in a raft of marketing roles across the city and are not surprised to see an increase in the number of people graduating in this field or that destination results for marketing graduates were among the best in the University.”

Other findings of the study showed there is an increase in nursing qualifications at degree level, which has been attributed to its recently-elevated professional status and that one of the most-noticeable rises in degree choice is in business-related courses. Here, the researchers discovered there were 500 graduates in business-related courses in 2005, compared to 164 in 1995.

The number training in legal practice has also increased by more than 30 per cent in the past decade with a vast majority successfully entering trainee solicitor posts after completing studies. This is 20 per cent more proportionally than ten years ago.


For further information, please contact:
Kelly Davis or Matt Broadgate, NB! Public Relations Tel: 0117 9254946

Editors note:
Lucy Bristow Appointments specialises in business recruitment and has an 18 year track record of providing high-calibre candidates. The consultancy places temporary and permanent staff in a wide range of business roles and provides tailor-made recruitment solutions for companies throughout the Bristol region.

University of the West of England is the largest University in the South West, with over 26,000 students, and it has an impressive record in teaching quality and employment. It offers a huge range of programmes and is an institution with a strong vocational and business focus. It is currently engaged in a £200 million investment programme.

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