Design graduates face pitiful job prospects

Design graduates face the worst employment prospects out of all college leavers. More 1995 design graduates were still unemployed by last December than graduates from any other discipline, according to a new education report to be published in two weeks’

Design graduates face the worst employment prospects out of all college leavers.

More 1995 design graduates were still unemployed by last December than graduates from any other discipline, according to a new education report to be published in two weeks’ time.

Nearly a quarter of 1995 design studies graduates – 21.3 per cent – were still not working six months after finishing their courses, says the report, which was researched by Brunel University. This compares to 0.2 per cent for medicine, 9.5 per cent for French and 12.0 per cent for business. Media studies has the nearest unemployment rate to design, with 15.2 per cent out of work.

“The design figure is substantially higher than for any other course,” says Richard Brown, director of the Council for Industry in Higher Education, which commissioned the report.

Brown hopes the results will raise the question about why people choose design degrees. “I wonder if students tend to choose design for pleasure rather than business motives,” he adds.

Royal College of Art rector Christopher Frayling confirms that the UK’s colleges produce “far more design graduates that can be employed in the profession”. He feels that design is “starting to be on a par with humanities, for example. Many of these graduates will go on to do something else. It’s becoming a life skill rather than a vocation.”

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