MORE university students on Wearside are starting their career search early, according to the latest research.
The figures show one in five students nationally now starts graduate job searches before their final year.
Data from graduate-jobs.com revealed more than four times as many students start searching for a career before their graduation year than 10 years ago.
These latest figures follow statistics revealed in the Sunderland Echo this week that 42 people are applying for every job in the city.
This placed Sunderland as the second worst area for the number of jobseekers battling it out for every post.
In 2002 just one in 20 university students, five per cent, was eager enough to kick off their career hunt before their final year of university, a stark contrast to the average one in five, 22 per cent, who do so today.
In the North East the figure is even higher, with 24 per cent of students beginning their search for a job early.
A spokesperson for the University of Sunderland, said: “This latest report that students are now starting their job search before their final year comes as no surprise in an increasingly competitive jobs market.
“Employability is at the heart of the student experience here at Sunderland. We encourage our students to take advantage of a number of opportunities as soon as they begin their studies with us, which develops their skills, adds value to their CV and helps them to stand out in the eyes of employers.
“These include placements, mentoring sessions with employers who have their own successful careers and internship schemes.
“Our careers and employability service also works hard to ensure students have access to a range of specialist staff and services, some of which are integrated into students’ teaching activities.”
The data also shows that over the last 10 years more female students than male take start looking for a post-graduation job early on in their degree.
Students at universities in the South East of England demonstrate the greatest level of career conscientiousness, with 29 per cent starting their search for graduate jobs before their final year. Students at Welsh and Scottish are the least keen to find a career, with just 13 per cent starting before their graduation year.