One of the main arguments amidst the outrage that followed university tuition fee rises was that “you’re not even guaranteed a job at the end of it”.

It could be argued that this was always the case. A poorly-written CV, weak interview skills or a lousy overall attitude will see to that.

Yet, recently released figures may suggest that things aren’t likely to be as bad for future graduates as some people make out.

Unemployment figures

The figures, released by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), indicate that only eight per cent of 2012’s graduates were unemployed and looking for work six months after completing their course.

Just under three per cent reported they were taking time out to travel, whilst 1.7 per cent sparked curiosity by stating they were taking time out to do “something else”.

That means almost nine out of ten respondents were either working or in some other form of higher education within six months of graduating.

What kind of work?

Of the 232,100 graduates questioned in the survey, just over 159,000 were working in some shape or form. That’s roughly 68.5 per cent of the sample group.

Just over 88,000 of these were employed on a permanent or open-ended contract, whilst almost 42,000 were employed on fixed-length contracts.

Just 7,165 respondents were self-employed or freelancing, which represents just 3.1 per cent of the entire sample group.

Interestingly only 4,580 respondents were on an internship and just 1,120 had started their own business. This was perhaps surprisingly low considering the extent which the coalition government has been attempting to promote these career paths.

Further education

A total of 41,435 people (17.9 per cent) chose to remain in education after gaining their undergraduate degree. Just under half of these were working towards a higher degree – mainly on a taught course, such as an MA or an MSc.

A postgraduate diploma or certificate was the path for 8,665 of these graduates. A higher degree – mainly through research, such as a PhD, DPhil or MPhil – was the next step for 4,385 people. Just over 4,000 graduates were going for another form of professional qualification, whilst 4,540 were working towards an informal qualification.

With the housing market showing signs of recovery, it would not be a surprise if there were more estate agent jobs in the next few years. Estate agents have positions for candidates at various levels of education, but will no doubt be regularly on the lookout for bright graduates hoping to build a successful career in the property sector.