City Cruises

Graduates regret not starting work earlier

Examining the results of the EPAA Not Just a Girl's Job campaign survey

A quarter of those leaving university wish they had explored other alternatives to higher education after entering the working world without the experience needed and with unexpectedly growing debts, according to a new study. The research from Qube Learning revealed that many across the country may be choosing the subjects or universities unsuited for their futures, while some may not have needed to attend uni at all.

The biggest issue most graduates faced when leaving education was the surprising debt. Many complain that they either paid too much or felt like they wasted their time by studying unnecessarily for a job where experience would be more valuable. Around half of graduates end up working in a job position achievable through training or apprenticeship schemes, and around one in two students agree their current job isn’t even related to their degree.

“It’s natural for a lot of graduates to finish their degrees expecting to jump on the career ladder almost immediately, but this is often far from the truth,” said Joe Crossley, Business Development Director at Qube Learning. ““Many students feel the pressure to achieve a high grade otherwise they feel they risk being unemployable but when they finally secure a job, their qualification becomes redundant.”

More than four in five agree there’s an emphasis on achieving high grades at uni, despite never being quizzed on their degree once being interviewed. However, just one in five was aware that apprenticeships and other schemes are just as valuable to bosses as a degree, while less than 5% knew or understand the idea of online or distant learning opportunities. The team at Qube Learning are hoping more can be done for young people uncertain of what they want to do in the future.

“It’s imperative that people from as young as 16 years old should be made aware of the educational choices that are out there for them,” continued Crossley. “It does not have to be a traditional path of A-Levels and University, there is a huge amount of scope for individuals to learn a trade, through Trainees and Apprenticeships, whilst being educated at the same time.”


Qube Learning ceased trading in 2023.

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