(Blog Archives): Post-University Prospects

(From 2008):

So, you’ve recently completed your degree, ran up a debt of anything from £10,000-25,000, annihilated your liver to the point of no return, parted ways with all your friends, and now find yourself back home living with your parents wondering what on earth to do next.

At this point in time, I am very angry and upset at the number of years I have committed my life to in education, to now find myself struggling to even find a decent job.

My qualifications include: a 2.1 in Creative Writing and English Literature, an Access to HE (Humanities) certificate, a ND in Graphic Design, an AS in Photography, ICT Key Skills Level 2, and 9 GCSEs A-C.

Now, not meaning to sound overly modest, but these grades should at least count for something; I was always taught to work hard and strive to be what I wanted to be, and I have done that, but strangely I feel like this qualifications are nothing but ink on paper.

I spent those years in education living on peanuts, when I could have been out earning a ‘”respectable’” living working 9-5 in an office, just to pay the bills and live for the weekend. I gave into the temptation of going to University because I was always taught that this was the only way to obtain the dream job I always wanted.

I have sent my CV to literally hundreds and hundreds of employees in the past few months, and from those I was invited for only ONE interview (and yes, I have been to CV workshops, too). Even then, I was told at the interview that a £15,000 annual wage was too high for a graduate, when I could’ve just as easily have gone out prior to obtaining my qualifications and earnt that (again, not meaning to sound too modest here).

The main issue with the employers I have found is that, as a graduate, I do not have the necessary experience to suit the position. But how is one supposed to obtain this experience if they’ve been studying at University all this time? Catch 22.

OK, OK, I know Universities offer Graduate placement schemes for the chance to gain at least a few weeks work experience in their chosen field, but to be honest the competition for these is so high that you most probably won’t have a chance in hell of getting on. Even if you do, you’ll find a majority of the times the schemes are unpaid.

Instead of a rosy picture being painted, I think people just need to start being honest about the post-University prospects. Thorough careers advice, too, should be available to every student in their given subject.

Admittedly, I knew that it was going to be a lot harder to find a job in the field of Creative Writing than it would with, say, a Business degree, but it is not just me struggling to find my feet at the minute. Nearly all of the people I have spoken to thus far find themselves doomed to getting a basic-pay job, which is completely unrelated to their studies, just so that they can pay off their overdrafts and keep their parents off their backs.

It looks like I’m doomed to be an office monkey after all.

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