Is University Worth It?: Survey Results From Recent Graduates

Highlights:

  • 46% of postgraduates did not think that their university education was worth the money
  • Over 30% of surveyed postgraduates did not need a degree to do their current job
  • 63.05% of female postgraduate respondents stated that they are not using their specific degree in their career, compared to around 50% for male respondents
  • 61% of postgraduates in London strongly agreed that they needed their specific degree to undertake their current job responsibilities.

 

With unemployment in recent graduates increasing from 7% to 12% in 2020 (ONS, 2020), postgraduates across the country are now questioning whether their higher education was worth the money. The survey of 500 postgraduates reveals that nearly half (46%) of respondents did not view their university education as ‘worth it’.

Job market impacts from Covid-19 are being most felt by recent graduates, with a report from the Office For Students (2021) stating that 24.3% of postgraduates from the 2018-19 cohort did not go on to ‘professional employment’ or further studies within 15 months of graduating.

 

2020-virtual-graduation

 

However, despite increases in graduate unemployment, historical data on graduate earnings from the Department for Education suggests that once the short-term impacts from coronavirus are over, recent graduates will start to see more value:

Working-age graduates aged 16-64 earned a median salary of £34,000 in 2018. Their non-graduate peers chose a different path earning a median salary of £24,000.

Commentary from Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment suggests that your subject of study and the university you attend also makes a difference as to how you value your education – with STEM subjects and the elite universities seeing the highest proportion of graduates in employment or further study immediately after graduating.

For the full results of the survey, please visit: https://www.aaronwallis.co.uk/news/is-university-worth-it.aspx

 

Rob Scott, Managing Director at Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment said:

“It is difficult to compare the cohorts of current postgraduates who leave University averaging over £40K p.a. of debt with the ‘Baby Boomers’ and ‘Gen X’, who generally didn’t pay for their tertiary education.  However, this data shows that beyond your mid-20s, a degree opens the door to higher-paying opportunities and therefore increases the likelihood of you feeling that higher education was ‘worth it’.”