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Students are not prepared once they graduate

When the discussion of university, employment and graduates comes up the ideal reality of having a decent job once you graduate springs to mind and the dream begins to appear. However, attending university doesn’t guarantee every student that they will receive a decent job at the end of it – but it does help you with the chance of getting one.

A lot of graduates are finding themselves working in jobs after university that do not require a degree, and these people are called ‘Gringos’, and are over-qualified for their roles. According to the Chartered Insittute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) overall just under 59% of graduates are in jobs that are deemed to be non-graduate, which is higher than around 50% in 2013. This report is a wake-up call, not only for students, but for the government, employment market and the universities – not one aspect is at fault here.

Also, employers were requesting graduates for non-graduate roles despite the job-role and skills needed not changing, and graduates were now replacing non-graduates in these roles meaning there is an employment problem for both sides of the degree certificate.

CIPD stated that the government and organisations need to aid graduates to make better use of the skills they gain in university. Otherwise they are in danger of becoming comfortable, out of touch with the working work and still underemployed.

Since the financial crash in 2008, job-hunting has become a chore for graduates and this may be the reason why many more of them are taking ‘stepping-stone jobs’. However, parents, the media and their peers can cloud their perception about the job market, Professor Blenkinsopp told Times Higher Education that graduates feel that everyone they know is in a similar position and that there is no pressure to look for graduate roles.

Also, there are many reasons for a graduate to choose the opportunity to be underemployed, however one is that graduates seek well-paid jobs as an opportunity to pay some debt and take the chance to earn some money, especially after living as a student for years.

There is no discussion from universities about their role of preparing students for life as a gringo, and as universities are now more judged about their employment statistics, and employers changing their roles to be ‘degree-friendly’ when in fact they are not, affect these statistics and then the graduates themselves. Students are not being prepared for the potential outcome of them not working in the graduate job market they aspire to.

Therefore, who is to blame for these scary statistics? Is it the universities for not preparing their students, or researching their statistics thoroughly? Is it the government for not supporting graduates once they graduate? Can we blame the business market for changing their job roles, pushing non-graduates out of the application process and not aiding students who have obtained a degree? Or can we blame the student themselves for studying a degree in a saturated market, or for not conducting enough work experience, internship and hard work to get the graduate role they want?

Even though these statistics are tough to read, they are, at the moment fact. But that doesn’t mean that students shouldn’t continue to wish to broaden their minds and excel academically, especially as employers want more graduates on their payroll.