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Graduate (un)employment

(102 Posts)
scotchbroth1 Tue 28-Jun-11 13:20:07

Though my own DC are a long way off employment age, I can see this through myself, siblings, cousins and some friends. Yes it is a tough time for graduates to get work in the fields they have studied at university, but I find a lot are too proud to just take anything until this happens, be it bar, cleaning, hotels, retail or admin work etc. because they are 'too bright' for it. Huh, I have a postgrad and am a cleaner on minimum wage. Others of my aquaintance just claim benefits and refuse to take any of the easier jobs mentioned. Some 'universities' are truly worth going to and give you valuable skills. Others are just glorified colleges that serve to keep you sheltered for 3 or 4 years (and make money for the institutions) then people wonder why they can't get employment.

Is this a common trend?

ps, this is not meant as a benefit bash thread but more attitudes of graduates to their true self worth.

FranSanDisco Tue 28-Jun-11 13:24:28

I have just graduated as a mature student and am willing to go bottom rung just to get a foothold. I think if you can't get what you want then you need something on the CV to show you are keen to work - voluntary work always looks better than a gap. I do feel for young grads coming out being led to believe the world is their oyster though.

xstitch Tue 28-Jun-11 13:34:56

I graduated years ago and have experience in my field yet can't get work.

Although I can't get work scrubbing toilets either (yes I have applied) as I am apparently overqualified. Its soul destroying and I now feel unemployable in every way.

dreamingbohemian Tue 28-Jun-11 13:37:19

YANBU. I have worked for years in restaurants and have seen so many students/graduates come through and then quit after a couple weeks because they think the work is beneath them.

I was also surprised when I did my MA course, almost none of the other students worked at all, and they had to take out massive student loans.

I think it's just not the culture these days. I'm ancient smile when I did my university degree ages ago there was no shame in waitressing to pay the rent, for some reason now that seems unthinkable for lots of people (depending where you live I imagine, I was in London).

MummyTigger Tue 28-Jun-11 13:49:56

My DP is suffering at the moment - has a degree and yet when he applies for a job he is told he is either a) overqualified or b) under-experienced.

Even I've had it to be honest! Tried out for McDonalds, but because I have 3 A-Levels, I'm too qualified to flip burgers, but not experienced enough for a supervisor position >:-( angry

scotchbroth1 Tue 28-Jun-11 14:06:12

With respect I have heard those arguments and I also had to apply for a fair few jobs before having any success, like anyone else. I just feel it is better to take a job that is beneath you than do nothing.

xstitch Tue 28-Jun-11 14:10:46

You are showing no respect at all. I would take any job, but I would actually have to be offered one first. Unfortunately I am a pathetic unemployable shit. I have spent the past hour in between MNing sobbing over job hunting because I am at the end of my tether and can only see one way out.

happyinherts Tue 28-Jun-11 14:16:42

You are lucky to have a cleaning job on minimum wage.

How anyone gets employed these days without experience, references, insider knowledge, etc etc etc is quite beyond me. Everyone wants experience, yet no one seems to be the one to want to give it. Too many of our young people have been encouraged into universities and now feel disheartened that they may not be any better off at the end of day than those who left school with inferior qualifications at 16 or 18. It really is a depressed market out there. You can't judge everyone and say that people aren't willing to take on jobs outside their field. Try telling employers to give young people a chance. As said, to take a job you have to be offered it first. THINK

oohlaalaa Tue 28-Jun-11 14:21:18

YANBU. I did a degree in property management, and afterwards qualified as a chartered surveyor. Only ever worked in private sector. If I was graduating now, I'd really struggle to get a job.

When I graduated in 2003, everybody in my year, got a job.

I did a vocational degree, rather than a mickey mouse degree. I wanted to do a degree that led to a job. I am not sure what I'd study at university, if completing my A-levels now.

P.S. I would take a job beneath me, if I had to.

mumblebum Tue 28-Jun-11 14:25:40

I've been stuck in the position before of applying for any job just to get work but not even getting replies to the applications. Which I can only assume was because they didn't believe someone with an MSc really wanted to work on the tills in the local supermarket. It is completely soul destroying. It's not always that easy to just get any job.

I agree it's not acceptable to just say you aren't going to take work that's not good enough for you, but not everybody who has failed to get a job is lazy. Sometimes it's just because nobody will give them the work. I did get a job eventually, and it was a graduate job appropriate to my qualifications. I never even got interviewed for any of the lower paid jobs.

dreamingbohemian Tue 28-Jun-11 14:29:33

xstitch I'm sorry you're having such a rough time sad

Try not to be too hard on yourself, you are not pathetic, everyone I know who is job searching is getting nowhere. I hope you find something soon.

limitedperiodonly Tue 28-Jun-11 14:38:47

I find it a distressingly common trend for people who don't know what they are talking about to go ahead and do it anyway.

I'm not the only one, a lot of my family and friends agree with me.

doodledaisy Tue 28-Jun-11 14:41:08

I totally agree. I meet lots of young people through work and many of them really do think that some jobs are beneath them. Without any work experience mind. We have volunteers at our hospital and they refused to help one team stuffing envelopes are it wasn't satisfying work. WTF? They are studying A-levels, have very little work experience but are too up themselves to stuff envelopes.

Step Tue 28-Jun-11 14:49:48

Unfortuantely we over inflate undergraduate's expectations. We see the dream of high paid jobs to kids that can never be a reality for all. There is over supply of graduates in some areas the supply is over 100 times what we need (see media studies). We have some third rate universities producing some poor quality degrees. Yet I struggle to recruit good chemistry and engineering graduates.
I feel sorry for kids sold the dream, who are now facing reality along with a huge debt.

pixielovescake Tue 28-Jun-11 14:49:55

Christ ive no idea who these people are who dont want to work through uni , but im about to graduate from post grad and look for a proffesional job and ive always always worked.
Im going to hold off on applying for anything for a couple of months (i have money saved) as i know what job i want but if it doesnt work i would take anything.
And i have done , through both my degrees and while i was at college. Ive been a washer uper,a bar parson,waitress over and over and over again as well as handing out leaflets, being a sales assistant and working in admin. And could i get a job in my post grad doing anything , anything at all ? NO.
I had to commute to the next city which took most of my wages just to get paid min wage.

pixielovescake Tue 28-Jun-11 14:50:57

What i meant to say is...its bloody hard to get a job , even a bar job. I applied for over 100 jobs during the last year doing anything so i could fund my studies.

dreamingbohemian Tue 28-Jun-11 14:53:34

Oh I would never assume someone without a job is lazy, of course not. The economy sucks, of course it's hard to get a job.

I am thinking more of actual people I know, who because they can't get a job in their field, don't work at all, because they think any kind of manual labour or boring office tasks is beneath them. I just think that's counterproductive.

pixielovescake Tue 28-Jun-11 14:55:38

Oh. Ahem. Sorry. and yes it is conterproductive. I cant believe people do that. I mean yes im going to do it for a bit but im actually writing my dissertation in that time as well and i do have money so its not quite the same.

mdowdall Tue 28-Jun-11 14:56:38

I would guess that most graduates would take anything they can get right now.
For those struggling I would suggest A - starting something up yourself via ebay perhaps or B - lying on your CV and understating your quals in order to take a bar job or whatever.
xstitch - I hope you find something and you are not pathetic - it is just an incredibly hard jobs market right now. Believe me, many of us have been there (I spent 18 months on dole in early 90s - v v depressing).

TryLikingClarity Tue 28-Jun-11 14:56:47

I recently quit my degree (had completed 2 years) and one of the reasons was the total dire lack of jobs at the end of it.

OP - YANBU to make that assumption based on your own experiences, but often there are deeper reasons than young people feeling that 'lowly' jobs are beneath them.

Some people I know (such as some family members) have parents breathing down their necks as they seem to forget that the job market was sooo different in the 1980s or 1990s when they were graduating.

dreamingbohemian Tue 28-Jun-11 15:06:24

Pixie, I can't believe it either.

I would even suggest to them doing some voluntary work, and sort of disguising the fact it's voluntary on their CV, but that wasn't good enough because 'they don't work for free'

I think there should be some kind of required module for students on job hunting, to help manage expectations

RoseC Tue 28-Jun-11 15:07:56

I graduated with a MA and took a job waitressing (the only thing I have any work experience in and I enjoy it very much). I chose a sector that I thought would be more stable than my ideal area and was promptly rejected. Now I'm retraining on a more vocational course and have to get a job in this field at the end of it because my CV looks like I've jumped into education to get out of low-paid employment... I was just following careers service advice but I'm now beginning to regret not sticking it out for longer and trying to find a job in that sector, however unlikely (my degrees aren't relevant and I have no work experience in that area).

On the other hand I do know people who have claimed benefits rather than get low-paid employment. It makes me hopping mad as there are usually other options for young graduates - I moved 300 miles away from my DP to live at home with my parents (rent free) and applied until I got a job.

Hammy02 Tue 28-Jun-11 15:31:48

There are far too many people getting degrees these days. Idiot Blair and his 50% degree contingent saw to that. If only the brightest students around 15% did degrees, we wouldn't have this problem & could scrap tuition fees. It is so obvious it is annoying and detrimental to our kids. A degree nowadays means fuck all unless it is from one of the top 10 uni's. Employers can see that, unfortunately, children of non degree educated parents cannot.

Tchootnika Tue 28-Jun-11 15:46:44

Hammy02 - I absolutely agree with you.
It's not just that these poor school leavers are being lied to then ripped off in this way, though (i.e. being set up to expect to graduate into jobs which only grads from top few unis can possibly expect a chance with...)
It also seems to be the case that it's now much easier to get a place at uni than it is to get an apprenticeship.

Mandy2003 Tue 28-Jun-11 15:58:07

I agree with you too Hammy02. I did not want to go to university although academically I was expected to. Even at that age I realised I had an addictive personality and that exposure to drink and drugs would not be a good idea.

Now my DS is 12. He does not imagine going to university himself, he wants to get an apprenticeship when he is 16. I do hope he gets a chance to do that.

Now my chances of getting the sort of work I usually do are being hampered by so many graduates unable to get graduate positions so taking jobs at lower levels.

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