Graduates more likely to be in low-skilled jobs

19/11/13

There's been a rise in the number of recent graduates doing jobs that didn't need a degree, according to figures from The Office for National Statistics (ONS).

It has released a major report into graduate employment.

The ONS says people who have been to university are still more likely to find work and earn more over a career.

However, the number of recent graduates in non-graduate jobs has risen from 37% in 2001 to 47% in 2013.

Most of that increase has happened since the recession in 2008 and 2009.

The prime minister said recently that he hoped students would become more picky about choosing a degree, because they were having to contribute more towards it.

Many English students are now charged £9,000 a year although they don't start paying that back until their annual salary hits £21,000.

Richard

Richard Bullows from Wolverhampton graduated in 2012 with a degree in art and visual culture and had hoped to work in set design or sculpture for TV and film.

Instead, the 24-year-old sifts through paperwork for a living.

"It is disappointing because I've invested a lot of time in my GCSEs, A-Levels, diplomas and then my degree," he said. "I was hoping to get some sort of recognition for that."

He says he accepts some responsibility for his situation, but also feels slightly misled.

"I think it's fair to be angry given that degrees are sold as you as the 'magic cure', that if you've got aspirations you can get a degree and instantly get the career you want."

Sophie and Emma

Sophie Grove, 17, and Emma Finney, 18, were among those looking around at an open day at the University of Worcester as they decide on their next move.

It has a good record of finding jobs for graduates.

Sophie is planning to go into nursing and Emma is considering a degree in fine art, against her physics teacher's advice.

She said: "He says it's going to end up going nowhere, but fine art is what I want to do and I believe that if you're not happy, then what's the point doing it?

"It is a risk but I know it would be the right choice. I don't see myself waking up day-to-day doing physics. I haven't got the heart for it."

Meanwhile a report in the Financial Times suggests that the earnings of recent English university students have fallen so fast since the financial crisis that the latest graduates are earning 12% less than people who started their careers before the crash.

The paper says they also owe about 60% more in student debt.

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