This presentation focuses on the current employment contexts and career development of those employed in the occupational categories where graduate employment has expanded most in the last 25 years: those which we classify as ‘new’ or ‘niche’ graduate jobs.
We investigate the extent to which respondents in these jobs require and make use of the skills and knowledge developed in undergraduate programmes and whether they constitute new areas of graduate employment or jobs which have been reconstructed by employers as a result of the expansion in higher education or changes in technology. In the increasingly knowledge-based economy, how far are graduates are working creatively with technology or merely operating it, either individually or as members of teams? How far are they required to exercise autonomy, initiative, leadership, problem-solving skills and creativity more broadly? How much relevance do degree subject studied or the particular characteristics of undergraduate programmes have for these graduates, seven years after gaining their first degrees?