Competition to get a first job in the City is getting tougher, according to the latest survey from the leading global jobs site eFinancialCareers.com, with three quarters (75%) of students surveyed saying they’d be prepared to work for free – up from just over half (63%) last year. And of those graduating this year currently looking for a job, only 16% have so far been offered a position.
Likewise, while the City of London retained its popularity as the premier financial centre in which students wanted to work, students are under no illusions about the obstacles that may lie ahead. More than a third (36%) believe it will take up to three months to find a new job once they graduate, and more than a quarter (28%) think it could take as long as six months.
The overwhelming majority (98%) of those surveyed want to start work as soon as they finish their studies, with only a handful seeing any benefit in taking a Gap Year to wait for the market to pick up.
That said, many are optimistic about their earnings prospects once they do find employment, with more than half (59%) believing they would be able to pay off their student debt within five years. One in five (21%) say they expect it to take closer to ten.
James Bennett, Managing Director, EMEA and APAC for eFinancialCareers.com, said:
“The allure of the City remains strong and whilst overall hiring levels in the sector are up compared to 2010, this growth isn’t being reflected in the number of graduate or internship roles currently on offer1. Students fully understand that securing their first job in the City is going to be extremely challenging this year but our findings suggest that the overwhelming majority remain undeterred.”
The most sought after companies to work for remain Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Barclays Capital, unchanged from last year’s top three.
The eFinancialCareers.com online UK survey of 234 students took place between the 17th of June 2011 and the 24th of July 2011.