Media studies graduates are facing the second highest level of unemployment amongst university leavers in the UK, according to new figures released this week.

According to data from the Higher Education Careers Services Unit (HECSU), which questioned 225,000 graduates in January, 14.6 per cent of the 4,350 media studies graduates who responded had not found employment six months since leaving higher education.

IT students are struggling the most with 16.3 per cent assumed to be unemployed after six months, but media studies graduates were above politics, fine art, biology, history and English.

Unemployment among media studies graduates has increased by 2.6 per cent on 2009's figures for the same period from HECSU. According to January's figures, 64 per cent of media studies graduates who responded were in UK employment and approximately 1.1 per cent in overseas employment.

Chart of media studies graduate employment from HECSU

Retail, catering, waiting and bar staff is the most populated employment sector of those graduates who have found employment with 29.9 per cent of media studies studies who responded finding work in this area. Arts, design, culture and sport accounts for 14.7 per cent of the employment commercial, industrial and public sector managers for 8.1 per cent, the data suggests.

The poll by HECSU covered 82 per cent of those who completed an undergraduate degree last summer and live in the UK. It suggests that 8.9 per cent of all graduates, around 21,000, were unemployed after six months, the highest unemployment figure for 17 years.

The full data is available to download from the Guardian's website.

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