Rising numbers of graduates are “under-employed” or working in low-skilled jobs rather than degree-level professions, research suggests.

According to a study by the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) around 95,000 new graduates in total, are working in jobs that do not need a degree, and this is set to rise to 42% for this summer’s university leavers,

For some subjects, like history and philosophy, more than half of new graduates are working in jobs for which they are over-qualified, it says.
The report warns that the proportion of new graduates finding work six months after graduating in low-skill or menial jobs for which no degree is needed has risen by 10 percentage points in the last five years.

It concludes that an estimated 55% of this year’s university leavers will find themselves either unemployed or in unskilled jobs.

The AAT is calling on the Government to analyse the quality and returns for university courses, across all subjects and institutions as well as vocational qualifications.

Jane Scott Paul, chief executive at the AAT, said: “If we are asking people to invest £9,000-a-year on tuition fees, they should expect a credible return on that investment, yet AAT research shows that over half of graduates are nowhere near benefiting from their degree and the situation is set to get worse.

“For too long vocational qualifications have been seen as the poor relation, with poorer employment prospects, when the truth is that high quality vocational courses open doors and create employment.”