Spiralling tuition fees and a crowded job market - is a degree still a passport to success?
In light of spiralling tuition fees, mounting debts, and an overcrowded job market, the AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) are urging young people to consider ‘alternative routes’ into their chosen careers and look beyond university.
Recent research commissioned by AAT estimates that 55% of the class of 2011 are expected to be either unemployed or underemployed in jobs for which a degree is not necessary. Unemployment amongst graduates is increasing faster than any other social group. In the hardest hit areas of the UK, more than a quarter of all recent graduates were still struggling to find work six months after graduating.
In previous generations, a university degree was almost a guaranteed route into a professional career.
Now with the number of degrees exceeding jobs and the value of many degrees being deemed worthless, no longer can young people afford to drift into university with little clue of what they want to do
"No longer should we push young people into university thinking it’s the right choice when there is little or no discussion about the other viable and alternative routes out there” said Jane Scott Paul, Chief Executive of AAT. In recent years, the reality of graduating with large debts into a saturated job market means a degree can no longer be considered a passport to success.”
Jane Scott Paul comments: "With the average student debt estimated at £27,000 for a three year degree course and set to rise to £45,000 in 2012 - we have to ask young people whether this is a good return on investment if there is no guaranteed job prospect at the end of it. The reality is a large majority of graduates are coming out of university and are ending up in menial and low skilled jobs for which a degree is not necessary.
Jane Scott Paul added: We have to change mind-sets and actively encourage young people to look into high-end vocational qualifications, gaining on the job training through apprenticeships and getting skills that employer’s actually want and value. In the case of accountancy – those that study and qualify with AAT can become chartered accountants more quickly than those with a degree and have invaluable work experience and little or no debt.”
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