The Outlook for Scottish Graduates

Scotland currently faces an unemployment rate of around 8%, this slightly above the UK average. During times of such high unemployment the future for Scottish graduates entering the Scottish labour market becomes uncertain. Despite the unemployment rate in Scotland being above the UK average, a 2008 report by the Higher Education Careers Services Unit (HECSU) in Scotland noted that the percentage of Scotland’s population qualified was above the UK average and that in 2007 37% of the working population had qualifications in the form of postgraduates, degrees, HNDS, etc.

So, with more and more students graduating in Scotland what does the Scottish labour market have to offer them? Well firstly, the report by HECSU also mentions the fact that Scotland retains a large number of its graduates, in fact in 2006 over 82% of graduates stayed in Scotland. So with high numbers of Scottish graduates staying in the country to live and work after graduation, there is of course an increased demand for higher skilled jobs. In reflection of this it is therefore positive that it can be reported that employment growth will continue to be the strongest in jobs that require higher levels of skills and qualifications. There will therefore be an increase in the availability of the jobs that graduates are seeking.

Therefore, despite the levels of unemployment in Scotland, the outlook for graduates is looking positive. The continual growth of jobs requiring high skills and qualifications will mean that more and more jobs will become available to graduates in the future and the high retention of graduates within Scotland after graduation will of course have a positive effect on the Scottish economy.

 Main Sources:


2 thoughts on “The Outlook for Scottish Graduates

  1. This is good news, being a Scottish student and all.
    However, i do worry about the number of people that will choose to enter higher education if laws are passed to take away Scotland’s free education system. This system obviously benefits Scottish students greatly by decreasing their student debt to a minimum. With the new Conservative Government in power, however there is worry that this system will be eradicated and students will have to start peying for a university education. If this happens there is the worry that not enough people could afford it and Scotland could then possibly suffer to find people who are qualified to fill these high skilled jobs.

  2. KMMS11 brings up a good point. This is the problem that the US faces today; with higher education being so expensive, it is very difficult for someone from a poor background to achieve any sort of economic wellbeing, especially when considering the continuing decrease of demand for low-skilled workers as technological innovation increases. These students must make the choice between not educating themselves past secondary school and taking the risk of not finding employment, and accruing a massive amount of debt and educating themselves further than the general population, and having to pay back this debt whether or not they find employment after graduating.

    As demand for high-skilled labour continues to rise, it is important that we make continuing education an option for those entering the labour market. If we do not allow for this, well, then the system just seems to collapse upon itself, as can be seen by the fall of the middle class in the United States. Hopefully, the Scottish governing system will take note of this, and refrain from making the dire mistake that is causing such hardship in the US today.


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