Shocking Statistics Show A Degree Was A Waste Of Money For Most GraduatesPosted: 19th of May 2016 by
Shocking new research shows that graduates have wasted tens of billions of pounds paying for degrees that they didn’t need for their current jobs. A study carried out by the training company, the Knowledge Academy recently found that 64% of graduates believed that their degree was not relevant to their current job or career. When percentage is aligned with the £13,292 in average debts carried by the 12 million graduates in the UK it shows that over £65 billion has been spent on unused degrees. What’s more, with the rise in tuition fees back in 2012, and the resulting increase in debt carried by the average graduate, this figure looks set to keep going up over the next few years. This raises the question of why so many young people are being persuaded to take degrees that will likely prove to be worthless in their later job roles?
The statistics showed that 67% of graduates said they could have got their current job without having got a degree, while six in ten graduates said they had never been asked to provide any proof that they even had a degree, and over one in five said their employer had “no clue” what qualifications they actually had.
There is still a strong pro-university snobbery in Britain, which means that many parents, young people, and even teachers still believe that a degree is the sure route to a good career. However, these figures show that for many students, a degree is little more than an expensive waste of time and money. Plus, it seems that the idea of going to university to ‘network’ is often wide of the mark.
Barinder Hothi, the co-founder of the Knowledge Academy called the results of their research “shocking, “ adding, “The high cost of university is often considered necessary in order to progress in a particular career but, with most valuing the experience of university over the knowledge gained from their degree, one has to ask: is it really worth it?”
With so many students being ‘expected’ to go to university, despite statistics such as these, perhaps it is time to take a serious look at other routes, such as apprenticeships. There are a wide variety of apprenticeship roles available in a number of industries and job sectors, some of which you may have believed you would need a degree to enter.
With 49% of the graduates saying that they felt their degree made it easier to get a job, the other half said that they would have been better off going straight out and getting a job – working their way up that way.
Unfortunately, the situation with graduates failing to find appropriate work is nothing new and has been going on for years, but with the introduction and increasing of tuition fees it has become a much more important issue for students.
It is hard to justify simply going for the ‘university experience’ when it is costing £9,000 per year (plus living expenses). Sixth Form students need to be given more real information on what is actually happening to graduates so they can make an informed decision over their futures.
Plus, universities have a vested interest in seeing an influx of paying students each year, so they are unlikely to say whether their courses make a real difference when it comes to landing a career.
Are students and parents being misled?
There are some university courses that lead directly into relevant employment and some career paths that still require a degree. However, for the rest it is worth asking if students and parents are being misled by misconceptions and outdated views on university.
How can we expect young people to make the right choices if they are given the wrong information? Or, as Mrs Hothi asserted, “Without providing students with a good understanding of all the options available to them, some may find themselves graduating in a subject which is of no use to the career they want. Some graduates are perhaps finding that a trainee role would have provided them with the relevant work experience needed to give them an edge many expect a degree to have.”
So, before you fill out that UCAS application, just ask yourself what you hope to gain from it when you graduate – and if it’s going to be worth the cost?
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