By Emma Hughes, HR Manager at Wolfestone
In the final quarter of 2011, 1 in every 5 graduates was unemployed. Graduates are finding themselves competing against experienced applicants, due to recent redundancies following the recession. Unfortunately while they may have learnt the theory, they have very little practical experience.
Are people going to University just for the sake of getting a degree? Are degrees now worthless?
The general consensus has always been that going to University will stand you in good stead for securing full time employment. However given the current unemployment statistics and general lack of recruitment in the UK, it begs the question whether this is still the best route for young people to take…
Are vocational courses more valuable?
More and more emphasis is being put on young people looking to alternative options to University or academic routes. Vocational routes such as apprenticeships allow students to earn money while learning a trade, and are they are much more varied in the subjects you can study than in the past.
Does this mean the beginning of the end of the road for Universities?
We think Universities need to adapt and add in vocational elements to all academic courses. Wolfestone has been delighted to help both Swansea and Cardiff Universities as they have recognised the need to consult the translation industry, ensuring their translation courses reflect workplace reality and provide their students with actual employable skills.
Should you start your own business?
Young people are being encouraged to develop their entrepreneurial skills to achieve their business dreams. Following the success of the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy, Wales now has its very own Entrepreneurship Academy offering 16 lucky 16-19 year olds the chance to start their own business with the help of local entrepreneurs and business leaders.
Entrepreneurship can be another good option for young people to design their own future. Wolfestone fully supports entrepreneurship in general and we’re looking forward to getting involved in helping with the Academy.
In our opinion degrees are still very valuable, and for many careers essential. However I think less emphasis should be placed on them as the only or best route.
As long as apprenticeship routes are held in the same high esteem then we will have more people choosing the best route for them rather than the route they think they should take. I also think Universities need to think more about what they are offering and start to incorporate more employability skills so that Businesses can be more confident in their graduates’ abilities to hit the ground running.
What do you think?
Is it still worth pursuing academic routes?
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