While ‘educated to degree standard’ may be a common sight on most job advertisements these days, research has revealed that almost half of graduates wish they had studied a more vocational degree.
The research, conducted by TotalJobs.com at the end of 2013, found that many graduates believe vocational courses could have been a better way to move into the workplace from education.
Mike Fetters, graduate director at totaljobs.com said: “Our research shows that many graduates are starting to wonder if they should have studied for a more vocational qualification as more effective route to employment.”
One psychology student intends to return to education to study a postgraduate nursing degree. She said that while studying nursing first would have been a sensible choice, her psychology degree has proven to be an asset, rather than a setback.
Another student, Florrie Sheehan, believes that an academic degree makes a person more employable as a vocational degree teaches specialist skills, limiting the number of jobs a person can apply for.
While the jury is still out on whether vocational or academic degrees are preferable, it is clear that all graduates are struggling to find work.
The study also found that many graduates are having difficulty securing jobs after leaving university, with almost 40% still out of work six months later.
“Although a degree is an essential qualification for some industries, school leavers need to think more carefully about which route to employment is best for them as some may be more suited to an apprenticeship scheme,” Fetters added.
However, their unemployment is not for lack of trying, as a third of graduates apply for at least 20 jobs in a single month. Keen to find work, graduates are willing to travel 35 miles to an interview, but one in six are happy to go over 100 miles.
Fetters went on to say that graduates need to be prepared to wait for their ideal job, and although it can be a long process, graduates jobs are often worth the wait.