Is the graduate job dead? Is a University education the best means of stepping onto the career ladder? Is it all worth it?
Fair questions to ask in today’s world.
My firm belief is a University education is worth it…whatever ‘it’ maybe! But, stuff
Many graduates in today’s market have it tough. Firstly, there are a lot of you….in fact it has never been more competitive.
The first key problem is that by encouraging people to go to University – you create more graduates – candidates with a “higher skill set” – but that does not translate into creating more roles that demand those skills. The end result is that the number of graduates in the UK outweigh the amount of entry-level graduate jobs available.
So…what happens in that market…well graduates end up taking jobs they are over-qualified for! In fact according to findings from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) 58.8% of graduates in the UK hold a non-graduate job…..
Second problem….Universities (and educational establishments as a whole) are not delivering the education they are now being paid for! Graduates can leave ‘a good’ University with ‘a good’ degree classification, but employers are finding an increasingly large gulf between academic success and being a candidate ready for the world of work.
Look at what some of the large accountancy firms have done recently….more efforts have been made to engage with A-level students and offering them an alternative to traditional University courses.
Ernst & Young have decided to remove degree classification from the entry criteria as they can find no evidence that success at University correlates with career success. Likewise Deloitte have changed their recruitment process so recruiters do not know where a candidate went to university.
In short…graduate recruiters are looking beyond academic success, they are looking beyond the record of achievement simply because it no longer guarantees career achievement.
So, what is a fresh faced graduate meant to do….well that is a whole new blog! But…the most important thing is not to lack ambition, it is not to sit back and admit defeat. The graduate job is still out there…..but you need to recognise there is increased competition for it and recruiters are looking beyond mere academic success.