A study of more than 18,000 graduates found that those who had completed internships were three times as likely to obtain graduate jobs.
Carried out by High Fliers, the research also found that one in three students from the 30 participating universities had undertaken work experience or internships with a prospective employer.
Prior to graduation, students will have submitted an average of over seven job applications each, the highest level found in 18 years of research into the graduate jobs market.
‘Work experience is no longer an optional extra for university students, it’s an essential part of preparing for the graduate job market,’ said Martin Birchall, managing director of High Fliers.
‘Students who just focus on their degree studies without spending time in the workplace are unlikely to develop the skills and interests that graduate employers are looking for.
‘The survey also shows just how hard today’s university students are working to secure a graduate job at the end of their degree. Record numbers of students are now choosing to research their career options in their first or second year at university, rather than leaving job hunting until the final six months before graduation.’
To improve your chances of securing a graduate job, browse the dozens of internship opportunities on our jobs board.