Graduates Struggle in Job Market

Graduates Struggle in Job Market

Renata Silva
2 min read

Recent Graduates Struggle to Secure Relevant Jobs in Challenging Market

Recent graduates are facing difficulties in securing professional roles, with 50% taking over six months to find a job, in stark contrast to the 17% of non-graduates in similar situations. During their university years, 50% of graduates couldn't find relevant work experience, with many only being able to secure short-term positions. A poll by Walters People has revealed that 72% of new graduates feel their degree does not provide them with an edge over non-degree holders, while 45% doubt the relevance of their degree in the job market.

The British government's focus on 'rip-off degrees' may overlook the broader issue of the challenging job market faced by graduates, even from reputable courses. The poll also indicates that 39% of graduates now see their degrees as having little to no value, a sentiment echoed by employers who increasingly prioritize work experience over formal qualifications. This shift is exemplified in the hiring practices of companies like Google and IBM, which have dropped degree requirements and are now focusing more on diversity and practical skills.

The data also reveals that over half of employed graduates find their jobs unrelated to their degrees, prompting many to prioritize career progression and salary over the relevance of their degree.

Key Takeaways

  • 50% of new graduates take over six months to find a professional job, compared to 17% of non-graduates.
  • Half of pandemic-era graduates lacked relevant work experience during their studies, with 27% securing only short-term positions.
  • 72% of recent graduates feel their degree doesn't give them an edge over non-degree candidates.
  • 39% of graduates believe their degrees hold little to no value in the job market.
  • 53% of employed graduates find their jobs unrelated to their degree, prioritizing career progression and salary over degree relevance.


The challenging job market for recent graduates reflects a broader shift in employer preferences, emphasizing work experience over degrees. This trend, highlighted by companies like Google and IBM, diminishes the perceived value of degrees, affecting higher education institutions and student enrollment. The British government's scrutiny of 'rip-off degrees' may exacerbate this, potentially leading to policy changes that could reshape educational priorities. Short-term, graduates face prolonged unemployment and career misalignment, while long-term, this could lead to a reevaluation of educational curricula and a greater emphasis on vocational training and internships. This shift impacts not only graduates but also universities and employers, who must adapt to a workforce increasingly focused on practical skills and experience.

Did You Know?

  • Rip-off degrees: Refers to university degrees perceived as overpriced or not delivering expected value in terms of career outcomes and skills development. The British government's focus on this issue suggests a concern that some degrees may not justify their cost in terms of enhancing employability or providing necessary job skills.
  • Diversity and practical skills in hiring: Companies like Google and IBM have dropped degree requirements in their hiring processes, prioritizing a wider range of candidates from different backgrounds and hands-on experience relevant to job functions over formal educational qualifications.
  • Disconnect between degrees and job relevance: Signifies the growing trend where a significant percentage of graduates find their jobs unrelated to their degrees, indicating a mismatch between educational curricula and the actual demands of the job market.

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