18 months-the average duration of a graduate’s first job.

A study by The Marketers Forum involving 2000 graduates, who had left university within the last ten years, has revealed that the average graduate’s first job only lasts eighteen months.

Many organisations market opportunities for career development as a major incentive to join them whereas these results suggest that the reality is very different for a number of reasons.

42% of respondents had already left their first job-around a fifth had quit within six months of taking the position.

40% said their reason for quitting was little career development opportunity while 25% simply didn’t enjoy the environment of the organisation they had joined.

15% simply believed they’d chosen the wrong field altogether whilst 14% revealed that their first job had no relevance to their degree.

42% revealed that they believe their degree did not prepare them adequately for the work place.

43% admitted to taking on a role they didn’t really want as they felt the necessity to take on any available work, although about a third of graduates said they delayed job searching in the attempt to hold out for their ‘dream job’-only one in five succeeded by adopting this method.

60% of respondents were concerned that leaving their first job too soon would look bad on their CV, about 20% stated that their sole reason for staying in their job was to avoid this issue.

Discussion on the Student Room offered several different opinions when it came to what graduate schemes in general meant and what offered:

‘A graduate scheme is one where they are actually trying to train the leaders of the future of the company, so they have a defined career path that will be made clear to you in the adverts and recruitment process.

What sets a grad scheme apart from non grad schemes is the career progression. On a grad scheme you will be working towards a goal of promotion, possibly doing a professional qualification, so 4 or 5 years down the line if you are good at your job you will be going somewhere.’

‘A graduate job is any job that is only open to recent graduates, with the key advantage I suppose being that you aren’t competing with already experienced professionals in that field.

Other than that there is absolutely nothing special about a graduate job. They’re often just jobs that would have been done by school leavers, but have “graduate” tacked on before it and are now open only to graduates.’

Spending nine and a half months in a job was regarded as the average ‘acceptable’ period of time by graduates before moving on to other opportunities.

The results also revealed that seven months was the average time taken to securing a position for new graduates, 5% making do with part-time employment for two years PLUS.  On average graduates apply for fifteen jobs for their first role.

The results of this study present some very important truths within the spectrum of graduate recruitment and could implicate many areas of it including careers advice, graduate expectations and from employability issues to employability marketing.