Saturday, November 24, 2007

Too many graduates, not enough jobs

Source: Rise in graduates over-qualified for jobs

Recent reports suggest that one in three university graduates in Britain are currently in a job that does not require a degree. Critics suggest that this number suggests that mass education goals are producing a sector of young people who might not have the opportunity to realize their career ambitions because there is insufficient demand for these educated youth. The number of young people attending university is already above 40%, and Britain’s goal is 50%. The government contends that Britain needs as many skilled workers as possible to keep up with competition. The labor market, however, cannot keep pace with the rapid increase of graduates.
Some subject areas are more vulnerable than others. Researchers at the London School of Economics (LSE) found that the number of English and other humanities subjects and social sciences are three times as likely to take work that does not require a degree; art and design students are six times as likely.

These numbers also mean that fewer graduates are earning the salaries they might have expected. The difference in earnings between vocational students and students in English and the humanities continues to grow as well. Researchers suggest that whereas money is not everything, problems arise if young people are led to believe that choosing a particular career will result in a higher salary than is actually possible, given the relatively constant demand and quickly expanding supply of university graduates.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is a cyclical problem which is worsened by the schools not steering new students into the fields that are growingn and away from those which are over saturated.

Let's say you have a reputation for engineering, and tenured, engineering professors on the payroll, you will be reluctant to discourage new students from choosing engineering even though you may know that industry demand is currently soft.

On the other hand students should be diligent in getting at these industry statistics to identify which fields will be healthy in four or five years when they graduate.