They may be graduating in a little over four months’ time, but just one in five undergraduates say they already have jobs lined up, and one in 10 have not even started looking yet.
The study by graduate careers’ service Graduate Prospects paints a worrying picture of a last-minute scramble for jobs by students.
For employers, however, it means graduate talent is still potentially very much up for grabs.
Employers would be well advised to ensure their careers’ websites are up to speed, however, as the survey has also found the internet is the top source of information for graduate and postgraduate job hunters.
Work experience is also rated highly by students, with many returning to companies following internships during their studies.
Just 19 per cent of current final year students had started their career planning before the start of their final year.
Around a third - 38 per cent – said they planned to start in the autumn term, while one in ten - 11 per cent - preferred to leave it until after they had graduated this summer.
Five per cent of final year students intended to leave it even later, and said they would not start job hunting at all until after their summer break.
Of those who had planned ahead and secured a graduate job or place on a postgraduate course by the start of their final year, 24 per cent had sourced the relevant information from the internet.
Around a fifth had secured their position through a work experience placement.
The more traditional routes of careers listings and vacancy bulletins were used by just 15 per cent, and just 10 per cent sourced a position through careers’ fairs.
Other routes included employer on-campus presentations (5 per cent) and specialist careers magazines (5 per cent).
Despite their somewhat lackadaisical attitude to job hunting, 65 per cent of final years claimed they knew what they wanted to do as a career by the time they reached their final year, with just one in three undecided.
The public sector was the top career choice, with 26 per cent of final year students claiming they will head towards jobs in public administration.
A total of 15 per cent said they planned to chase jobs in business services, 14 per cent in banking and finance and 11 per cent in education.
Mike Hill, Graduate Prospects chief executive, said: “It’s gratifying to see final year students taking work experience seriously as a route to improved employability. The challenge now is to convince more employers to understand the benefits of a placement programme, and take this ‘try before you buy’ opportunity.”