3

A whole sentence is

Waiting until after graduation to apply for work reduces the likelihood of starting in a graduate job.

I am confused by its meaning

I thought a sentence without [in] is more reasonable such as

Waiting until after graduation to apply for work reduces the likelihood of starting a graduate job.

Or is the more complete sentence like the one below?

Waiting until after graduation to apply for work reduces the likelihood of starting [work] in a graduate job.

Furthermore,

is there any difference between "the likelihood of starting in a graduate job" vs "the likelihood of starting a graduate job"?

Page 342, last line of left side,

Page 342, last line of left side

9
  • What is a graduate job?? Surely you mean a job after graduating or graduation?
    – Lambie
    May 14, 2023 at 16:38
  • In any event, it is a pleonasm. It is not needed in any of the three sentences due to the presence of the word graduation. He graduated and got a graduate job? I don't think so.
    – Lambie
    May 15, 2023 at 13:51
  • 1
    Written by a non-professional writer. The Brits say university education, not college education, that's AmE. If you do not want to acknowledge what I said about it being a pleonasm, that's fine. But bear in mind I am a professional writer...
    – Lambie
    May 15, 2023 at 14:22
  • 2
    A graduate job is a specific type of job open to graduates and usually requiring a degree. It normally provides some level of training to help new graduates contribute to a company. On leaving college/university with a degree, someone might take a graduate job, but they might also take a job that doesn't require a degree (e.g. in Starbucks).
    – Stuart F
    May 15, 2023 at 15:03
  • 1
    "I started in retail / marketing", "We worked in sales … ", The opportunity to work in [management / tourism / engineering… In a “graduate job” is just the name for the first job a grad might do.
    – Mari-Lou A
    May 15, 2023 at 18:39

3 Answers 3

3

Using "in" seems to match the natural meaning.

The "job" exists before you start work, in that there is some task for you to do. And if you are not in a graduate job, you will have some other role - perhaps in an unskilled job, or as a homeworker. So you will be in some role.

You, as the employee, don't start the job. The job is created by the company that you work for.

As you correctly observe. The sense is of "starting work in a graduate job".

5
  • Why do I feel difficult to choose between these two answers? May 14, 2023 at 3:44
  • What do you think of the term "graduate job" as a native speaker of British English? May 15, 2023 at 15:19
  • 1
    "graduate job" is a common colocation. It means any job that normally requires you to have at least an undergraduate degree, and so is generally better paid, and salaried.
    – James K
    May 15, 2023 at 17:18
  • @JamesK It's not that common. At least Lambie and I had never heard of it before reading this question.
    – gotube
    May 15, 2023 at 21:55
  • As a native speaker of chinese I seem to relate to native English speakers. Sometimes I happen to hear of unusual terms which are quite common to people who are used to simplified chinese and vice versa. May 16, 2023 at 0:08
5

All three ways feel natural enough to me, but the meaning isn't the same.

If you "start in a graduate job", "start" is intransitive, which means there's an understood object other than the job. It's probably "your career", so what's understood here is, "...the likelihood of starting your career in a graduate job..."

If you "start a graduate job", "start" is transitive with "a graduate job" as the direct object. So this probably means, "...the likelihood of getting a graduate job...", with no indication of when. It could mean the likelihood of ever getting a graduate job.

Since the context is what happens after you graduate, talking about someone's career is more natural than their ability to ever get a particular type of job, so the first sentence probably carries the intended meaning.

Your third version, "starting work in a graduate job", has the same grammar and meaning as the first. To start work in some job means to start your career in some job.

7
  • I have never heard the term "graduate job" and it is certainly does not mean a job after graduation. None of those sentences is natural. There are tons of things one can say about jobs after graduation/graduating. In fact, since the word graduation is used in the first clause, the word graduate is not needed at all. I can only assume many non-native speakers agreed with you.
    – Lambie
    May 14, 2023 at 18:06
  • 4
    @Lambie I hadn't heard the term either, but I looked it up, and it's a term used in the world. I encourage you to do the same. And regardless, the question is about the presence of the word "in", and could be rephrased with "professional job" or "good job" in the place of "graduate job", so nothing about my answer would be invalidated even if there were no such term
    – gotube
    May 14, 2023 at 22:26
  • In any event, it is a pleonasm. It is not needed in any of the three sentences due to the presence of the word graduation. He graduated and got a graduate job? I don't think so.
    – Lambie
    May 15, 2023 at 13:51
  • 1
    I guess 'a gruaduate job' explicitly differentiates other jobs. According to the original sentence it is still possible to get some kind of job that does not need the qualification before or after graduating . Again I am not a native speaker of English. May 15, 2023 at 14:11
  • 1
    @StatsCruncher Yes, I had no trouble finding a definition that made perfect sense in the context -- roughly, a "professional job". The distinction between graduate jobs and non-graduate jobs is central to the intent of the sentence.
    – gotube
    May 15, 2023 at 14:50
2

"Waiting until after graduation to apply for work reduces the likelihood of starting a job".

No need to repeat the word graduate which would be a semantic error there.

I have never heard the term "graduate job":

  • job for graduates
  • job after graduation

There is no need for in. We work at a job. We have a job.

4
  • Appreciate your words. I am not a native speaker of English. The whole sentence is from a book written by a British author who is also a UK university professor. The term "graduate job" occurs in that book for twenty-five times. May 15, 2023 at 14:02
  • 1
    @StatsCruncher Then the writer is not very good as it is pleonastic. Like: kick it with your feet, see with your eyes, I'm waiting for graduation so I can get a graduate job. I find it really hard to believe that a British author wrote that exactly that way.
    – Lambie
    May 15, 2023 at 14:06
  • I give you the page numberyou may refer to. Ha :) Is it reasonable to say "kick it with your feet but my feet because my shoes is brand-new" ? There are some people waiting for graduation and getting a graduate job, but it won't happen to them. On the other hand, few people planing for graduation take action to build portfolio for job interview....and a graduate job. May 15, 2023 at 14:28
  • I find that "kick it with your feet" and "see with your eyes are JUST examples in Oxford dictionay and Cambridge dictionary. May 16, 2023 at 0:28

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