Overqualified and underskilled - is this true of the graduate market?

Recent reports have shown that many graduates believe themselves to be overqualified for their jobs, with with over a quarter in the UK believing they are doing jobs that don’t require a degree according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development think tank. The OECD is saying that basic numeracy and literacy skills, or there lack of, are holding graduates up in their job search. There are a number of reasons that could account for the these literacy and numeracy rates, but some believe it is due to the universities not equipping graduates with the necessary skills needed for work. Some experts have questioned how some graduates were admitted into university with the level of literacy and numeracy reported.

Nevertheless, how overqualified are these individuals and does it truly put them behind those who don’t have a degree? Research has shown that graduates will on average earn more than those without a degree, and the BBC found that graduates on average earn 48% more than those who only have five good GCSEs or the equivalent. Moreover, many starting salaries for degree educated graduates will be higher than those without. Depending upon location, salaries often start from £25,000 dependent upon skills and degree type. Understandably this also relies on the subject and market, with finance and investment typically paying above the average rate for a graduate.

However, it goes without saying a degree is not the only thing employers look for. Employers will also look for soft skills, the ability to communicate effectively and confidence in your work. Many would argue that university teaches you skills that you can transfer in the world of work, such as independent learning, teamwork and communication. Moreover, the graduate market is not declining significantly, suggesting Employers have not held back employing graduates. We haven't found a decline in the calibre of graduates or poor levels of literacy and numeracy that would otherwise hold graduates back.

IT Graduate Recruitment specialises in the recruitment of graduates in STEM industries, including technicians, engineers and developers.

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