Almost half of graduates ‘ill-equipped for world of work’

“Survey by recruitment website shows dissatisfaction at university education among recent graduates struggling to find jobs

Almost half of all recent graduates believe their university education did not adequately equip them for the world of work, and a quarter wouldn’t recommend higher education to those currently studying for their A-levels, a new survey suggests.

The survey, by recruitment website totaljobs.com, also revealed that more than a third (38%) of recent graduates have claimed jobseeker’s allowance since leaving university. The findings support grim figures released by the Office for National Statistics earlier this week showing that a fifth of all recent graduates are out of work.

Many of the 448 recent graduates responding to the online survey expressed a distinct lack of confidence in the value of their education, with 44% stating they did not think university had prepared them for the working world, while a similar percentage (43%) said they would not have chosen the same courses knowing what they know now. As a result, 24% of respondents said they would not recommend higher education to A-level students.

A recent report by the Association of Graduate Recruiters revealed a rise in the number of graduate vacancies for the first time since the recent recession began, although starting salaries remained stagnant at a median of about £25,000 a year.

Despite this, student wage expectations dramatically drop on graduation, with 58% of graduates believing they will earn less than £20,000 a year. This view is contrasted with those still at university, of whom 73% believe they can earn more than £20,000.”

To read the article by Graham Snowdon in full please click here

Our View:

Times have definitely changed since the time when a degree was considered to be a pass to a great job, with good salary and perks! Now graduates need to ensure that their degree grade is the best and somehow also need to gain enough ‘relevant experience’ during their studies to standout from all the other candidates.

Have you noticed a change in your profession over the last 10 years or so? What would be your ‘words of advice’ to current graduates?

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2 responses to “Almost half of graduates ‘ill-equipped for world of work’

  1. “Times have definitely changed since the time when a degree was considered to be a pass to a great job, with good salary and perks! Now graduates need to ensure that their degree grade is the best and somehow also need to gain enough ‘relevant experience’ during their studies to standout from all the other candidates.”

    I agree that a degree is not enough by itself any more but class/quality of degree is not the be-all and end-all. My sister graduated in 2009 with a 2.2 in a subject traditionally looked down on by academia. Her lecturers, careers advice, classmates all told her that no graduate jobs would be open to her, that she’d wasted her time, that she should have worked harder. Yet she’s the one who’s employed in a graduate position that’s related to her degree, which is more than can be said for many of the people who got firsts. The difference was, she’d been chalking up work experience and working on her soft skills.

    The way I see it, your degree is what you make it but you’ve got to build on it.

    • I totally agree, I firmly believe that more and more professions are looking for a ‘more rounded person’ who can bring a variety of skill sets and knowledge to the role. I’m pleased your sister is doing so well and it’s a positive message to send out to current / future graduates that they can be successfuly if they recognise the need to build a portfolio of experiences and skills to support whatever qualifications they achieve. Thanks for taking the time to post your comment – I hope you contribute again in the future.

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