Over 40% of UK graduates fail to land grad-level jobs after uni
Half of university graduates are no better off than those who do not go to university, a study has found.
Research among 2,000 UK adults commissioned by Intern Tech has revealed that two fifths (41%) of degree holders have had to take an entry-level job below graduate level once they left university, this rises to 51% among 18-34-year-olds.
The study found that 26% of all university graduates in the UK regret the time and money they spent on their university education – equating to 5.6 million people across the country.
The average graduate today leaves university with £44,000 of debt, plus 48% of UK grads do not know how to secure some of the country’s most sought after jobs within the tech and marketing industries.
One of the main areas for concern was in the lack of knowledge and understanding surrounding the UK’s in-demand technology jobs. When presented with a list of the country’s most sought after roles in the tech industry – including data scientist, social media manager, app developer and cyber security specialist – 48% of graduates said they do not know what these jobs entail or how they would secure one. The concerning findings comes as 93% of firms in the UK’s rapidly-growing tech sector say that a shortage of skilled workers is holding their business back.
Over six million graduates (28%) deem their degree courses outdated in relation to the present-day job market, while 45% – 9.7 million graduates – say internships and work placements have been more valuable to them than degrees in their professional life.
Over a third (35%) of university graduates have had to pay to do further qualifications to get the skills they need to pursue their desired job.
Intern Tech’s research also uncovered some that 30% of UK degree holders think the country’s departure from the European Union will be good for their job prospects. The graduates pinpointed less competition from overseas professionals as a result of Brexit as a positive influence on the job market.
Aaron Wilson, Managing Director of Intern Tech, commented, “The research has illustrated that universities are failing to equip graduates with the skills and experience they need in the professional world. Consequently, a huge number of degree holders in the UK are left regretting the debt they have been burdened with from university as they are still forced to take jobs below graduate-level or have to complete further qualifications to get ahead. Meanwhile, the country’s innovative high-growth companies are being held back by an inability to find the skilled workers they need – clearly something must be done.
“In the Spring Budget the Government signalled its intent to address the skills gap through T-level qualifications and additional funding for STEM subjects. However, today’s survey underpins the immense value of internships, which must be encouraged – they provide young people with vital insight and experience into the jobs and industries they wish to work in. With university education criticised for being outdated, it is essential that students and graduates are encouraged to get hands-on work experience, in turn enabling companies to find potential employees with the culture, attitude and core skills they require.”
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