Is a degree really necessary?

Over 50% of professionals would choose not to go to university if given the chance again.

A new study reveals how UK recruitment professionals are questioning the value of a degree in the current job market, with over half of those in the industry admitting that if they had their chance again, they would choose not to go to university.

career degree

The research, conducted by CV-Library, the UK’s largest independent job board, addressed the country’s leading recruiters to establish the main issues surrounding graduate employment and what it means to have a degree in today’s working climate. Over 700 recruiting experts responded and key findings suggest that the qualification is decreasing in value:

  • 50.8% of recruitment professionals would choose not to go to university in this day and age, showing a clear split amongst those that best know the UK job market.
  • In today’s current climate, 84.1% of recruitment professionals believe a degree is becoming less essential to securing a job.
  • Looking forward to 2025, 47.2% believe that degrees will have an even smaller value.
  • In comparison, 33.6% of recruiters believe that degrees will be of the same value as they are today, leaving just 19.2% that think they will be more important.
  • The majority of respondents (68.2%) suggest that degrees are only important for securing jobs that demand one.
  • Under a quarter (23.6%) of job professionals think the number of graduate job opportunities will rise.
  • In addition, due to the suggestion that there is a lack of growth in graduate jobs, it is unsurprising that 66.3% of respondents believe that graduates are having a tougher time today compared to ten years ago.

Despite this, recruiters firmly believe that the most employable candidates are those with both a degree and excellent work experiences, with 90.6% of recruiters favouring this over one or the other.

CV-Library’s founder and managing director Lee Biggins explains, “In today’s competitive job market, it’s unsurprising to see that recruiters have a split opinion on the value of a degree. There has been lots in the media recently regarding the importance of work experience and this really highlights that. Degrees can be a valuable tool to job-hunters, but it’s equally important for candidates to ensure they have a strong balance of work experience and qualifications if they want to be successful in their job search.”

What do you think? Is it still necessary to have a degree? Do you require your employees to have degrees? Join the debate on Twitter @TalkBusinessmag

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