More than a third of graduates end up in dead-end jobs such as stacking shelves or answering phones in call centres when they leave university, latest statistics have suggested.
A degree for many fails to live up to its reputation as a passport to a high-flying career, figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency have found.
The research, compiled for The Guardian newspaper showed that 38 per cent of those who entered work in 2003 were in “non-graduate” employment six months after finishing their course.
After half a year in the workplace, just 12 per cent had gone into “traditional” graduate occupations, such as medicine, higher education and science.
Similarly, 13 per cent had gone into “modern” graduate jobs such as management and information technology, with 16 per cent in "new" graduate jobs, including marketing and sales management.
A further 21 per cent had found work in the "niche graduate" sector, including leisure and sports management.