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Graduate job prospects improve over time

Graduates in Switzerland find it hard to secure jobs in their first year out of university, but their situation improves within five years, new figures show.

According to a Federal Statistical Office survey published on Thursday, the unemployment rate among university graduates is 5.8 per cent in the first year, but only 2.3 per cent five years after finishing their studies.

Graduates of universities of teacher training had the lowest unemployment rates – 0.5 per cent – irrespective of when they graduated.

Over the five years salaries also change for graduates. One year after graduating the average salary is SFr75,000-80,000 ($86,000 – 92,000) but within five years it rises by up to 22 per cent. Law graduates earn the least at first (SFr54,000) because of the high number of trainees, but after five years the situation reverses with lawyers earning around SFr100,000.

Over the first five years economists are consistently the highest earners (on average SFr80,000), while design students earn the least (SFr57,000).

The survey questioned people who graduated with a university-level degree either in 2004 or in 2008.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR