Ruth Mitchell

Member Article

Graduates 'regret degree choice'

A third of graduates believe they studied the wrong course at university, a survey from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development suggests. Most of these said, with hindsight, they would have taken a more scientific or technical course, a business-based or a professional qualification.

The poll of 876 former students who graduated in 2000 or 2005 found that average starting salaries for those who graduated in 2005 (£19,451) were just 8% higher than for those who graduated in 2000 (£18,016). The survey found that within 12 months of graduating, 63% are paying into a pension. But evidence of a gender gap emerged, with only 57% of women who graduated in 2005 saving for a pension compared to 70% of men.

The poll found two-thirds of those surveyed felt their university could have offered better career advice. The overwhelming majority of respondents were positive about their time as a student - 90% said they would go to university if they had their time again, and 84% said their time at university had been helpful in gaining independence and life skills. Three-quarters said it had helped them in terms of communication skills, presentation skills, team-work and confidence.

Victoria Winkler, CIPD training adviser, said: “A combination of fierce competition for graduate jobs and graduates taking longer to find work appears to be having an impact on their views about their choice of degree. “The findings show that with reflection many graduates would study a subject that relates directly to business or that will better equip them with skills that are transferable into the workplace. “The Government needs to work alongside employers to find out what skills are needed in the workplace. “This information then needs to be fed into schools and colleges so that school leavers have the information needed to make a more informed decision about the course they choose to study and their future career.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Ruth Mitchell .

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