This summer’s graduates have the best job prospects since the recession hit, according to college staff.
“The climate is improving, there are definite job opportunities,” says Surrey Institute of Art & Design careers officer Beverley Spilman. Employment is most prolific among students who have built up contacts while studying, she says.
Dan Fern, professor of graphic design and illustration at the Royal College of Art, says new graduates are “far more optimistic than they were five years ago. Everyone trusts they’ll get something now”.
Seven of the 19 graduates from the architecture and interior design course are doing regular freelance work and four of the seven graduates from computer related design had jobs before they graduated.
Georgina Follett, head of the School of Design at Duncan of Jordanstone College, Dundee, says her graduates are finding the job market “fairly buoyant”.
De Montfort University design management head Wendy Powell attributes the change to the recovery of other industries, which leads to an increasing demand for design.
“The good students are now successful in finding jobs. In previous years we’ve seen a waste of good graduates,” she says. “They don’t automatically approach a design studio, they take a broader view of employment.”
The London Institute finds the market increasingly buoyant, but feels there are few opportunities for full-time work. “Lots of graduates will have to start freelance,” says careers head Selina Springbett.