University graduate schemes at risk as students feel education does not provide them with the skills they need

Graduate schemes may be at risk as it has been found that nearly a third of graduates say their degree did not help them achieve the skills they need for their job.

This was discovered by AXELOS, a joint venture set up in 2014 by the UK Government and Capita, to develop, manage and operate qualifications in best practice. It found that 31 per cent of graduates say their degree did not prepare them with the skills needed for their job.

More than a quarter (27 per cent) said that whilst looking for a job, they were asked about skills their degree had not covered.

Also, just over three-quarters (76 per cent) feel that a degree should provide students with the specific skills needed for a professional role. With 68 per cent believing that industry recognised certifications should be part of their higher education.

Students whose degree did include a professional qualification said it had helped their career, improved their chances of a pay rise and apply for certain jobs.

Mark Basham, CEO of AXELOS said:

We’ve heard so many times now that employers complain about the skills gap. But we now hear the other side of the story and it’s graduates themselves who also see that there is a problem.

Higher education institutions continue to play a crucial role in preparing graduates to face the challenges of modern-day business environments. However, one way to support students even better in their future employability is to offer industry-recognized certifications.

Employability is vital for those who need to see an almost instant return on tuition fees. Including a vocational certification as part of their learning curriculum will equip graduates with the skills and confidence to succeed in what is a very competitive job market.

Peter Eyre managing director of Vevox, a real time polling and engagement app said:

For many graduates, the transition from college or university to the world of work is a daunting one. The atmosphere or culture is likely be different from anything they have experienced before. They may have worries and concerns about what to wear, how they will integrate with other employees and how they will cope with the pressures of working flat out to meet deadlines and manage heavy workloads.

Interested in graduate recruitment? We recommend the Graduate Recruitment and Development Forum 2020.