Too many graduates are mismatched to their jobs. What’s going wrong?

Jan 25, 2018 by

Students often aren’t aware of their own skills and experience, or what different jobs require. They need more meaningful careers advice

Advice about the art of interview preparation and how to craft the perfect CV isn’t enough to put every student on a path to a career they want. About one in three graduates end up being “mismatched” to the jobs they find after leaving university, research [pdf] by Universities UK suggests.

These mismatched graduates face poorer prospects and lower earnings than their peers who embark on careers that are a better fit for the knowledge and skills they have acquired through three or four years of study. It suggests that traditional careers advice isn’t working.

Are students taking the wrong courses?

The problem isn’t necessarily that too many students are taking the wrong course. There is little evidence that graduates are studying the “wrong” subjects, according to the UUK research, since most are on courses that offer subject knowledge and employability skills that are very much in demand.

Instead, students need better careers advice that will help them define their skills and attributes – and understand how these match different career options. Students also need help finding out which skills they’ll need to break into certain industries – particularly in sectors that aren’t good at diversifying their recruitment, or when they have no family or social network of contacts to call on for help and advice.

Politicians complain of a skills gap, but graduates face an “experience gap” – with many employers preferring to recruit young people who have spent a couple of years in the workplace rather than raw recruitments from university. Yet graduates have often picked up at university many of the soft skills that employers are looking for in more experienced recruits – they just don’t know it yet.

Source: Too many graduates are mismatched to their jobs. What’s going wrong? | Higher Education Network | The Guardian

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