Is a university degree still relevant?
Previously we told you all about the benefits of finding your place in the professional world by taking up an apprenticeship: so does that mean that university degrees are no longer relevant; or do they still hold a unique value in the modern business world?
With tuition fees sky rocketing over the past few years, the decision to study at university is not to be taken lightly. With life-defining experiences to be gained, uni needs to be more than about qualifications alone.
The highs and lows of a university degree
Let’s not beat about the bush. University is a LOT of fun. You meet people from all walks of life; you connect with experienced academics who inspire you; and you also pick up some pretty in-demand skills. In fact, our parent company The Adecco Group found that most UK employers believe critical thinking and presentation skills are better acquired at university than through an apprenticeship. However, they also believe that most soft-skills that you need to succeed in the workplace (like communication) are better formed through the platform of an apprenticeship.
With that in mind, you need to think carefully about what you want from a degree.
A growing number of employers are dropping the requirement for a degree from their applicant criteria altogether to make themselves more inclusive than they have ever been before. However, a great many more cite the lack of relevant skills that graduates emerge with following the completion of a degree.
Bursting the degree bubble
In 2016, research by the CIPD found that while the number of graduates in the UK has seen a monumental boost over the past few decades, the number of graduates in highly skilled roles has failed to follow suit.
Employers are hiring fewer graduates, because they are finding fewer graduates with the skills they so desperately need.
So what’s our advice? We’d never discourage anyone from pursuing a degree: the experience can be incredibly rewarding. If you are planning to become a graduate, we cannot stress enough the importance of developing those soft skills. The best way to achieve this is by exposing yourself to the world of work is through meaningful work experience. You can speak to anyone here at Office Angels about getting your foot in the door with some real experience.
Be sure that whatever you do, research all of your options fully, and do what makes you happy. And whatever your final decision, we will be here to support you, every step of the way.