Design graduates most ambitious, says survey

Graduates of design and art courses are the most enterprising entrants to the labour market, but among the lowest earners, according to a new survey carried out by the Centre for Research into Quality at the University of Central England in Birmingham.

Nearly 2000 graduate careers were analysed for the report, titled Destinations and Reflections. The results show just 4.9 per cent of art and design graduates to be unemployed, with 60 per cent in full-time work.

Design graduates showed the highest levels of full time work, with three quarters having been awarded permanent contracts. By comparison, only 50 per cent of fine art graduates achieved such contracts, with a greater proportion going on to further studies.

Among design graduates, those working in the industrial, furniture or product design sectors are most likely to be self-employed or directly commissioned.

Graduates of specialised 3D design courses are most likely, at 19 per cent, to have started their own business ventures.

Low incomes were offset in many cases by flexible portfolio working, giving design and art graduates diverse incomes. But, men still consistently earn more than women, even in areas where women form a greater proportion of the workforce.

Overall, the average estimated graduate income for women is £11 610, compared to £14 060 for men. In the 26-35 age group, women are likely to earn between £5000 and £15 000 less than their male counterparts.

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