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Really bad for a fresh graduate in the UK. I was unemployed for a year and a half (I did get a couple of temporary low paid jobs to get some experience). There were jobs around and I got interviews, but in the end they all ended up saying "not enough experience".

Yes. I left university in 2001 and took a 15-hour minimum wage job doing IT support for a university. The first year, I didn't earn enough to pay tax.

Problem is, I think the words "IT support" and "academia" were offputting to future employers; possibly quite rightly, as I definitely picked up bad habits which were hard to shake off. (Working in a team, mentoring/pair programming, working together on the same version control repository? We never had enough staff for any kind of collaboration.)

I sometimes feel like I'm exactly the wrong age: a few months too young to vote in 1997; the government I didn't vote for brought in tuition fees in 1998 and my year was the first to pay them. Always interested in computers as a kid and had never thought about the money but when I started studying CS at the height of the boom everyone assumed I was in it to "get rich quick". Now I'm in my mid-30s and thinking about going back to university just as the government announces postgraduate funding for under-30s only.

I know what you mean about the age thing. I had been holding off buying a house until the bubble deflates. Now the government announce 20% discount for under 40's just three months after I turned 40. I would be damn pissed off about that had I not moved to Spain (where the economy isn't doing any better).

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