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Degrees insufficient to secure graduate jobs

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by David Masters

A university degree is no longer enough to secure a good graduate job, a recruitment expert said this week.

Tom Hadley, director of external relations at the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), said companies now look for relevant skills and work experience in addition to a stint in higher education.

Many employers now take a degree as a “given”, Hadley said, and look for other attributes on a graduate’s CV to make them stand out.

“In the main, there is a lot of people coming out of universities with very broad degrees which in themselves aren’t really going to make an employer go: ‘Wow, I really need to recruit this person’,” Hadley said.

“It all comes back down to trying to be proactive and building a CV from an early age which is quite difficult.”

Hadley also pointed out that white collar employees have been under as much pressure as blue collar workers in the current recession.

Jobcentres have reported “a lot” of former high-level staff signing on for job seeker’s allowance.

“It has been quite a big wake-up call, especially for those at the higher end of the jobs market who thought they were going to be safe,” Hadley said.

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News posted: July 17, 2009

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