Undervalued Qualifications vs. Overstated Experience:
The Hardships of Graduate Job Hunting in 2011
The title of this entry may seem rather negative or pessimistic, but as a recent graduate myself, this term seems to encompass the current challenges facing thousands of fresh faced academics entering the job market each year.
Graduates endure a minimum of 3 years of hard work, deadlines, exam anxiety, financial hardship and copious amounts of reading in order to achieve a degree which employers are supposed to recognise and appreciate. Why else would an individual go through all of this and amass thousands of pounds worth of debt? It is certainly not because we have nothing better to do with our time!
In the past a degree was undoubtedly acknowledged as an achievement worthy of employment, however this no longer seems to be the case. During this period of intense economic hardship, organisations are cutting back. The inevitable large-scale redundancies that are reported in the news almost every day mean we are left with a saturated marketplace filled with people applying for jobs they would normally be considered over qualified for. This undoubtedly has an impact on the graduate job hunter, as it means we are now competing against fellow strugglers who have a wealth of relevant experience. This would appear to undervalue our hard earned degrees as the few employers that are expanding and hiring new candidates are eager to minimise the risk of employment by hiring a candidate with enough experience to forgo the necessary learning period associated with graduates.
As a result, we are left with an unemployment demographic filled with capable intellectuals with large debts, all hoping to gain some form of work experience in a marketplace with extremely limited opportunities in order to stand a chance of competing. Graduates have the qualifications and potential to be successful, but not the experience employers are craving. This unsettling fact looks unlikely to change in the near future and begs the question; “What can be done to tackle undervalued qualifications and reduce the impact of overstated experience?”
If anyone has an answer to this question, please get in touch.
– James Thomas Brydon –
Recently graduated with an MSc in Business Psychology from the University of Northumbria, James has experience of producing innovative, high calibre work within the marketing industry. Looking to make his mark in the creative sector in Yorkshire, James will be writing for us about the marketing industry from a graduate perspective so watch this space!