Magazine article Times Higher Education

Students Unrealistic about Job Skill Levels

Magazine article Times Higher Education

Students Unrealistic about Job Skill Levels

Article excerpt

Expectations of fast track to graduate-level job are over-optimistic, suggests report. Holly Else writes

Students are "massively overestimating" the skill level of jobs that they will get after graduating, according to a new report.

Almost 80 per cent of students expect to be in a graduate-level job within six months of leaving university. But comparable government figures suggest that only 53 per cent will be in such positions within five years, it says.

Humanities students are more realistic about their employment prospects than those from other subjects, finds the survey of 4,000 students in a report by the National Centre for Universities and Business.

This could be "because of media narrative around those subjects and their [perceived] lack of real world application".

Just 56 per cent of history and philosophy students expect to have graduate jobs within six months, compared with more than 90 per cent of students in medicine and dentistry, engineering and technology and subjects allied to medicine.

"While students seem to have fairly realistic estimates of their likely salaries after graduation, they massively overestimate the skill-level of the jobs they will get on graduation," says the report, published on 26 June.

Although 62 per cent of students said that employment prospects were an important factor when choosing their institution, just 6 per cent of them collected information about employer recommendations. "[This suggests] a potential gap in understanding reflected in later destinations," says the report, the second part of the NCUB's Student Employability Index 2014. …

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