Graduates

UK graduates have said they feel universities should have done more to support freelancing and self–employment as career options, according to a survey.

A recent study by PolicyBee found that 62% of graduates said freelancing or self-employment was not discussed at all while at university, and a further 19% said it was discussed but not enough information was given.

Will Calderbank, graduate entrepreneur and founder of Distorted Logic said: “The university careers support available to me was basic, and mainly focused on getting an internship in my third year. I decided not to do that, fell through the gaps a little bit, and ended up with no support. In my opinion, university careers departments need to think a little less about the one-size-fits-all approach, and help students and graduates consider all the options out there.”

Even though over half of those surveyed said they had undertaken freelancing during their studies, with 44% considering freelancing or self–employment as a career option, nearly half of the graduates felt disappointed by the support they received from their career department when preparing them for work.

Kerri–Ann Hockley, who commissioned the study for PolicyBee, said: “More and more people are turning to self-employment to overcome the difficulties of our current economic situation. The study clearly shows that many graduates have an appetite for self-employment and need to make an informed decision about whether this is the right career choice for them. Universities could do more to encourage and support potential freelancers.

“In the past, self-employment or freelancing were only considered options by more experienced professionals. The latest generation don’t see this as a barrier. Thanks to the changing job market and developments in technology, graduates can enjoy greater independence. They no longer need to follow conventional routes into employment if it doesn’t suit them."