Graduates with work experience more employable, says survey
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GRADUATES who took up jobs in 2020 are more employable than those who spent the pandemic period by continuing their education, a survey revealed.
The Early Careers Survey 2021 found that one in four university students spent an average of £8,666 on a master’s qualification last year, The Guardian reported.
“It was an extremely rational decision to swerve the jobs market for a year in 2020 but if all you’ve done is a master’s degree and no work experience at all, you’re going to struggle to show employers that you have those oven-ready work skills they need,” said Charlie Ball, the graduate labour market expert for Prospects.
Prospects carried out the survey of 7,189 young people.
The study warns graduates against pursuing a master’s in the hope it will land them a better job.
“Students need to be aware that an additional qualification on its own won’t help them land a graduate job,” the newspaper said, quoting the study.
Stephen Isherwood, chief executive of the Institute of Student Employers (ISE), said that “even driving an Amazon van would make you far more employable than spending the past year doing a master’s.”
According to the ISE, only 15 per cent of employers believe postgraduates are more skilled than other graduates.
“Real-life experience is invaluable to employers,” Isherwood added.
“Employers want to know what you’ve learned since leaving university about your strengths and weaknesses,” he said, adding “If you’ve got any thoughts about the internal workings of the business you worked for in no matter how lowly a position, then that’s great too.”
Lindsey Rowe, chief of staff and head of people and programmes at SAP Software Solutions, agreed to the findings of the study.
“Even working in a coffee shop or in a supermarket is an invaluable, real-life experience: learning how to deal with cross, demanding customers might seem like nothing to the young person, but it’s an incredibly useful indicator for employers that they’ve developed real-world resilience,” she said.