R&D, principal occupation of young graduates in the private sector in 2008

Laurent Cousin

This is the finding of the APEC survey conducted in Spring 2008 of a sample of 4,014 holders of a university graduate degree.

The most recent survey conducted by the Association pour l'Emploi des Cadres (APEC-Management) on the professional situation in 2008 of those who graduated in 2007 shows that in many sectors, particularly industrial, Research & Development occupations are among the main positions held by young graduates.

19 % of those who found a job hold a position in this field, all sectors taken together, the most common just after “health, social, culture, education.”

R&D comes in first in the fields of “Chemistry, plastics” (34 %), “Metallurgy, mechanics, electronics” (36 %), “Automobile, other rolling stock”(33 %), “Construction”(42 %), “Transports, postal service, telecommunications”(20 %). R&D comes in third in “Agrifood" (19 %).

The survey moreover reveals that R&D is the leading position held by young graduates in physics, chemistry, biology, geology, metallurgy, mechanics, aeronautics, electronics, computer-integrated manufacturing, general engineering. It is second in human sciences (except teacher training), information technology, telecommunications, multimedia technologies.

Note that the young graduate survey respondents primarily use the Internet for their job search (97%) to check out offers and send off spontaneous applications. One-third of them post their résumé on the web. The use of online professional networks such as Viadeo or LinkedIn remains marginal (6%).

The survey also unfortunately shows that year 2007 graduates who are still looking for a job in 2008 mainly come out of university (76%) - as opposed to engineering schools and “grandes écoles” - and are primarily in the fields of Human Sciences, Law, Political Science, or Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Not a new trend but a lasting one.