Less than half of uni graduates are working in a career that relates to their degree, survey finds | The Sun

LESS than half of uni graduates are working in a career that relates to their degree, a survey finds.

A poll of 2,000 university graduates found 22 per cent went into a job which didn’t require any of the qualifications they had achieved straight after completing their degree.

One in five started to look for employment that related to their studies, but ultimately had to put their plans on hold as they needed to start earning.

While 23 per cent of those not working in a field relating to their studies found relevant opportunities where they lived at the time hard to come by, and 21 per cent didn’t have the work experience to land a job.

Despite three years of studying their chosen degree, one in 10 (11 per cent) of these have since decided to retrain for another industry in order to progress their career.

As a result, 28 per cent wish they had chosen a different route into the workplace, such as going straight into work from school (47 per cent) or an apprenticeship (46 per cent).


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James Jennings, apprenticeship manager for British Gas, which commissioned the research, said: “While university is a fantastic option for some, it isn’t always the best – and most successful – route into a career.

“In fact, as the research shows, for many it doesn’t actually lead to a role relating to their studies that many may anticipate.

“The view that university is the preferred route for employers is an outdated one.

“And these findings show just how important it is for those considering university to evaluate whether it is the right path for them into their desired career.

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“Just as importantly, they must explore whether a more vocational programme would be better suited to what they want to achieve.”

It also emerged, of those not working in a role relating to their degree, 45 per cent enrolled onto it because they are passionate about the subject matter.

While 36 per cent opted for it because they had excelled at the subject during their years at school.

But 22 per cent of these chose this path because they were under the impression there would be ample work opportunities once they had graduated.

Following graduation, those surveyed spent an average of six months applying for roles relating to their degree before looking at other avenues.

And for those now working in a job relating to their degree, it took an average of seven months to land their first role.

However, 45 per cent of these didn't not receive any vocational training while studying, with 21 per cent subsequently not feeling well prepared for the position.

For six per cent of those polled, via OnePoll, the main reason they went into higher education was ‘to have a good time’. 

This research comes after a report from Centrica – British Gas’s parent company –created in partnership with GMB union called for an urgent reform to the skills system in the UK to create the workforce needed to reach net zero by 2050.

It also set out the need to destigmatise vocational training – particularly apprenticeships – to improve the status of green skills. 

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James Jennings, from British Gas added: “Apprenticeships and vocational training are an extremely successful way to start and progress a career, and are equally valuable to the employers offering them.

“Our report shows that greater flexibility over training and qualifications, and establishing a system that encourages even more people down a vocational route, are both essential if we’re to create the workforce UK needs to meet its energy ambitions."

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