HR strategy and practice figures told of strong work ethic from graduatesUniversity leavers are showing a tougher attitude to their career by putting the repayment of student debts ahead of finding a position to suit them, according to Tanya de Grunwald, founder of

She told people involved in HR strategy and practice it is not surprising that those recently coming out of higher education are making these choices given the "exceptionally tough" jobs market and the level of money needed to pay off things such as loans.

Her words come after a survey published by the Association of Investment Companies, which found that one-third of students at university would consider a higher-paying role over a career choice in order to reduce debts.

However, the poll also showed that more than half begin to worry about finding a job after they graduate, but Ms de Grunwald advises those candidates who miss out on full-time work to thinking about part-time or voluntary jobs.

"It shows a strong work ethic and is a better look than spending the summer on your parents’ couch eating Doritos," she added.

By Ross George