As the debate over whether you need to go to uni to get on rages on, people are pretty cross that a job advert has asked for ‘graduates only’.
The Trades Union Congress – a bunch of people who represent workers – has advertised for a role within the company. But, unlike many job applications, which state that applicants for certain roles be educated to ‘degree level’, this one has said that entrants must have degrees.
Protests came from members of the executive committee, including union general secretaries and officials. But, without getting too much into the ins and outs of the TUC (an internal TUC document leaked to the Guardian said that they’ve decided to change the name of the job anyway!) or even accusing them of hypocrisy…how does this relate back to you, the job-seeking youth?
Should job adverts seeking applicants who are educated to ‘degree level’ put you off if you aren’t actually degree educated?
Well, yes…and no.
Regardless of how much you think a degree is worth these days, it’s one of the best-regarded shorthands for a whole bunch of talents. As soon as an employer sees your qualification grade, the name of your degree and university, they get a picture of a collection of skills and a package of good things you have done – academic, social and extra-curricular. Various ticks in the ‘yes’ column.
But, that said, now that tuition fees have risen (almost at the same rate of unemployment, isn’t that funny?) employers might look at a degree as a waste of time. And there are other ways of proving your credentials. Alan Sugar, Caitlin Moran, Mary Portas and um…Simon Cowell are all examples of famous people who’ve made legitimate careers without being your run of the mill celebrity or receiving much education beyond age 16 (13, in Caitlin’s case!) That doesn’t mean they’re not educated, though. It’s just they’ve learned from the school of life. If any of them, aged, say, 20, were going for a job, they could still say that they’d done something with the time they would have spent at uni. They were ‘educated to degree level’ but just in a different sort of degree. One that doesn’t come in a scroll handed to you at the end of three years living away from home and running into debt.
We can’t tell you for sure what a prospective employer is going to think of someone who is ‘educated to degree level’, because people are different. But if you have not got a degree, there are other ways of displaying your talents. If you can find tangible examples of what you have done to make yourself worthy of the job – moments where you’ve shown responsibility, successfully completed important projects, or really worked hard to achieve a goal that might have otherwise been unavailable to you, then you will eventually get enough ticks in your ‘yes’ column to have a good shot at getting that job.