Graduates Facing Uncertain Job Climate and Mounting Debts

9th March 2009

It seems the government are still keen to encourage students to invest in going to university to gain a degree but in such uncertain times would the financial burden of student loans outweigh the benefit of a degree in the current job market? With graduate jobs decreasing in many areas should the government be more cautious in giving this advice especially to potential students who come from a low income family or whose families have already been affected by the credit crunch?

 

England’s Higher Education Minister David Lammy still believes an education is a good investment and young people should not be put off by the current economic crisis. "People considering applying to university should do so. A degree can help you not only get your first job but also throughout a career that may span up to 45 years." Many people would dispute the idea of a 45 year career in anything in this current job market as it seems to benefit, a candidate must be versatile and have both training and experience in more than one area and sector. “If you have experience within a specific role then take that function horizontally across all sectors & industries. Broadly speaking, a finance director could do that job in IT or Legal, in Engineering or the Public Sector” stated one low cost business recruitment agent.

 

The University and College Union have always disputed the point that student debt is a price to pay for a long standing and successful career and disagree with the debts sold to potential students by the government. "Those policies have ensured that thousands of new and recent graduates are entering an incredibly competitive job market with record levels of student and commercial debt," one spokesman commented.

 

The sentiment is echoed by the National Union of Student but they point out the students who need to have part time employment to fund their education are also suffering in this job market and are arguing against lifting the cap on fees, "Those vice-chancellors who are arguing for the cap on fees to be lifted in the coming year must think again, unless they want to plunge a generation of students and graduates into even worse debt during a time of economic crisis."