Tuition fee debt held by students is pressuring graduates into taking jobs that are low-paying, stable, and ironically, don’t require a degree at all. Graduates are becoming anxious about paying off student loan repayments and accepting jobs that are not right for them in order to begin to pay off their debt.
University of Bath‘s professor of political economy, Hugh Lauder blames the government for this shift, and feels the government is “burdening” students with large amounts of debt. He also stated that students are having to “look over their shoulder” when it comes to their student debt once they graduate – which suggest that graduates are forced to accept boring jobs. Lauder also suggested that students should receive a living wage paid by the government once they graduate, which should be quite high, to allow them to “mess around”, create inventive ideas, and to enter an entrepreneurial zone.
50 per cent of UK graduates are in jobs that are classed as ‘non-graduate’, which is one of the highest compared to other countries in Europe. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) published findings this summer which showed graduates are ‘wasting’ their degrees in lower-skilled jobs after they find work – graduates are overqualified for their jobs.
According to the research, the number of students are not prepared once they graduate – one reason being the fact the number of graduate jobs available, is outnumbered by graduates. In Germany, Netherlands and Slovenia, the number of graduates who are overqualified for their job roles is 10 percent or less.
Chief executive of the CIPD, Peter Cheese said that increasing the qualification level requirement for job roles does not fix the problem. He also said that in most cases, the degree “is simply wasted”.
CIPD reported in 2014 that more than one-fifth of people are working in positions that only require primary school education or less, whilst almost a third of people feel overqualified for their job.
The Institute for Public Policy Research reported last year that one-fifth of workers in low-skilled jobs hold a university degree and estimated that by 2022, two-thirds of jobs would not require a degree at all, it’s been suggested school leavers are better off learning a trade than going university.
According to new research from Oxford University, female graduates are limiting their career possibilities by waiting or applying for ‘worthwhile’ jobs, whilst male graduates are driven by salary.
Director of the Oxford University Careers Service, Jonathan Black stated: “Our latest research has confirmed that gender-based differences in career confidence start early”.
The survey found that teenage girls already limit their career options, feel less confident and carry these same attitudes and behaviours into university level.
The survey was conducted with nearly 4,000 participating students from 63 different schools and across the UK, and 31 were state schools, while 32 were independent schools.
Karen Parker who offers careers advice for private girls’ schools said that “when [girls] look at the environment that surrounds those higher pay jobs, [it] is not as attractive to them as some other areas and quite often that might be because it is male dominated and it is not a working environment they’d like to be in”.
Are graduate expectations low due to the availability on the job market, or are the graduates themselves at fault for not fighting hard enough to get their perfect job?
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