The news comes despite the University’s recent success in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2014, placing York 11th nationally in the overall league tables.
In total, 73.9 per cent of York students who responded said they were either in work or further study. This percentage placed York 29th out of 121 institutions in the UK that were ranked.
The data is based on the percentage of graduates in professional jobs or further study six months after graduation, according to the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey, conducted by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).
A university spokesman said: “While 29th nationally is still not where we want to be, it represents a substantial improvement from last year.
“Also, in terms of number of graduates in any job we have outperformed many of the Russell Group (including Oxford, Imperial, UCL, Warwick) in the latest survey.
“A number of measures are already in place to secure further improvements including enhancing the Employability Tutorial which more than 50 per cent of students are already using; developing campaigns aimed specifically at year groups; offering more than twice as many internships as two years ago, with plans for more expansion and to market the scheme more clearly to students in the Summer term.”
“We have introduced […] 300 per cent increase in the number of employers coming onto campus last year.
“More than 80 per cent of The Times Top 100 employers are now advertising vacancies on our system and more than half are now coming onto campus to deliver skills sessions/employer presentations etc., with plans in place to increase those numbers.”
The University of York’s Liz Smith, Director of Careers, told Nouse: “Although we’ve exceeded our targets, what we need to do is set ourselves some more that are equally ambitious. We want to be in the top 20 next year and the top 10 by 2015.”
According to the careers department, currently around “60 per cent” of students use their flagship ‘Employability Tutorial’.
She added, “One of our big messages is, you can put all of this in place, but you’ve got to share this with us and you’ve got to take responsibility for developing your own employability.
“Then we can give you shed loads of help, but you’ve got to take that decision and make it happen.”
Smith also acknowledged that the Careers Service must be careful not to switch off students “who aren’t looking for the top corporate jobs.”
Medicine was top of the table at York for graduate prospects at 97.8 per cent, followed by Nursing and Computer Science at 97.3 and 85.4 per cent respectively.
Chemistry, Economics, Law, Electronic Engineering, Politics, Social Work and Archeology also made it into the top 10 courses at York for graduate prospects.
Smith explained that some employability on some courses suffered due to problems with work experience: “You’re not likely to walk into an archaeology graduate job until you’ve done your bit out in the field and doing all of those things which are often voluntary, so given we do this survey after six months and the government prescribe that and we can’t budge it, it’s a bit early for that cohort.
“Psychology is another one; with psychology you need to be out there getting experience before you can get into the types of jobs that will take you down towards chartered status, or again the media…”
The average salary for York graduates is currently at £19,638, however this varies from course to course. Students with Computer
Science, PPE or Economic degrees from York on average earned the most, with upwards of £25,000 starting salary.
Students with Science based degrees, such as Electronic Engineering and Physics, also ranked highly, with average earnings of £23,000 and £22,000 respectively six months after graduating.
Imperial College London topped the graduate prospects table, followed by Cambridge and the University of Bath respectively.