The job market is once again full of fresh graduates vying for their first career roles; however new research has shown that some recruiters do not value a degree as much as they used to.
Research by a HR news agency has revealed that 84.1% of recruitment professionals believe that a degree has become less essential to securing a job. Over 700 recruiters took part in the survey.
Just over half of the respondents (50.8%) stated that they would not choose to go to university if they had the opportunity today; a finding which goes hand in hand with the fact that only 23.6% believe that graduate job opportunities will increase in the future.
These findings suggest that a university degree on its own is declining in value. Despite this 90.6% of respondents stated that they would favour a candidate with both a degree and work experience over a candidate with either one or the other.
The results seem to suggest that recruiters are becoming increasingly sceptical about the rising numbers of graduates in recent years. However there is still no clear resolution one way or the other to the old question of practical versus academic experience.
More encouraging for the hordes of fresh graduates looking for work is the news that UK employers are increasingly turning to younger talent to meet their requirements.
The CIPD reports that that 33% of employers with hard-to-fill vacancies now plan to hire more apprentices, compared with just 22% in 2014.
Even so, 50% of respondents stated that they believe upskilling their current employees to be the best response to a skills gap in their organisation.
HR Solutions Managing Director Greg Guilford says: “A university degree doesn’t only provide a graduate with the theoretical skills they need to contribute to a business. The experience of attending university, working on different projects and trying different roles can help to narrow their focus and refine their skillset.”
“Whilst practical work experience is an essential qualification to look for when hiring, the skills that graduates develop over the course of their studies should not be discounted out of hand.”
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