Forty-one per cent of finalists said they made at least one job application to a graduate employer almost a year before graduation, according to a poll of more than 18,000 students at 30 UK universities by High Fliers Research, published on 13 June.
That compares to the 37 per cent who applied early – in September or October in their final year – in 2011, 31 per cent in 2009, 28 per cent in 2006 and 25 per cent in 2001, says The UK Graduate Careers Survey 2013.
By March, 63 per cent of finalists had made graduate job applications this year, compared with the 61 per cent who had applied by the same point last year, 59 per cent in 2011 and 55 per cent in 2010.
The number of job applications made by students while at university also rose to 7.1 on average compared with 5.7 three years ago, says the survey, which polled around one in five of all finalists in 2013.
Martin Birchall, managing director of High Fliers Research, said the survey shows students were applying earlier than ever to help secure a graduate job at the end of their degree.
“Record numbers of students are now choosing to research their career options in their first or second year at university, rather than leaving job hunting until the final six months before graduation,” he said.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor