Guardian Jobs

Guardian Jobs

March 12, 2012 10:36 ET

How to Get the Most Out of Your Degree: Tips and Insight from Guardian Jobs

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - March 12, 2012) - It's probably never been the case that a good degree guaranteed a job, but it was certainly more likely that graduates would find work ten years ago than it is today. With the introduction of university fees, the rising cost of living and unemployment; it is understandable that prospective under graduates are questioning the cost/benefit of taking a degree. Here Guardian Jobs sheds insight on the value of a degree for under graduates, perspective students and recently qualified graduates.

Recent results from the National Office of Statistics set the scene from a statistical perspective: Last year, a third of people who completed their degree in the last six years were working in a role that a school leaver was qualified to do. A decade ago, it was around a quarter. With employers now having optimum choice, students are in a position where they have to prove themselves at every opportunity and fight hard for jobs. And they are fighting for jobs against some school leavers who have as much as three to four years work experience on them. Herein lies the dilemma; whereas before there was a clear connection between graduates that obtained high grades in sought after subjects ie STEMs and jobs, now, there is less likelihood of this. And as several STEMs destination sectors have contracted - banking, (construction & manufacturing related) engineering, economics and by default maths, the situation has been exacerbated. So how do graduates and under graduates get around this problem?

Well, Guardian Jobs have done some research too and recently reported that more than a third (34%) of students applying to university this year are planning ahead and considering the range of skills and experiences they can include on their CV. Their findings showed that two thirds (61%) of students now do a work placement before starting university, a significant change. It seems the degree now ranks alongside work experience in importance; its value being boosted or underscored by the practical work skills that graduates and students are able to demonstrate. This is not a diversion for the Guardian; or change of tack for Guardian Jobs. The Guardian's University Guide has always ranked University employability scores (largely ranked around statutory placement requirements of the course and local business enterprise ties) separately to course content ranking. Location too, with the rising cost of living is coming is a strong influence for prospective under graduates and of course their parents and guardians.

Top survival tips from Guardian Jobs for students include demonstrating and applying adaptability particularly in marketing themselves in a highly competitive online environment. Advice on: joining professional networks, to leverage sector insight and referral into companies, following grad schemes, local businesses and companies on Twitter and other news and business blogging sites. And also the importance of having 'Social Work' accounts where students and graduates are shown in a 'professional' light. Coupled with that; the importance of double checking privacy settings on Facebook, so that prospective recruiters are pointed towards the 'right' Social accounts.

Reassuringly it still pays to study. As of October 2011, 86% of all graduates were in work compared with 72.3% of non-graduates. In addition, graduates are also likely to have significantly more chance of earning a better wage than non-graduates. In 2011, the median hourly rate of pay for all graduates between the ages of 21 to 64 was £15.18, which was a significant 70% more than the non-graduate rate of £8.92.

Guardian Jobs offer a variety of jobs in the graduate sector. For additional advice on life after graduation, visit

About Guardian Jobs

Guardian Jobs has been the market leader in recruitment across the quality press for almost 20 years. With an audience comprising high quality jobseekers, Guardian only list the highest calibre vacancies in sectors that include Media, Education, Government, Graduate, Secretarial, Charities, Marketing, Social Care and Arts among others.

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