I really do wish I didn’t have to bear this kind of news, but don’t shoot the messenger. Students thinking ahead to careers need to realise they’re looking at a very, very bleak jobs future. Here’s a summary of some recent Telegraph articles to this effect.
With an ever-increasing number of potential employees holding good degrees, it’s worth noting that the degree is no longer a meal ticket to a good career – rather, it’s the bare minimum and you can still end up in low-paid jobs with a degree. This is particularly the case since the recession of 2007 –>, with some reliable workforce analysts speculating that the UK jobs market won’t recover for nearly a decade-and-a-half. Meanwhile, low- to middle-paid earners (the majority of the population) have seen their share of national wealth (and their prospects of social mobility) fall dramatically in the past few decades: women and those without well-off parents to support them early in their careers have been especially hard-hit.
In one article particularly worth reading in full, it notes that two-fifths of all employees are over-qualified for their job and that, despite a massive skills shortage in the UK, employers still feel there is a poor match between the skills of candidates and jobs available. Depressingly, even being very qualified can leave you without a post, even after lots of successful career experience – the moral of the story here is that qualifications are the bare minimum for success, and you will also need to be able to market yourself well to potential employers. Soft skills like salesmanship, personability, and initiative are critical: the world is not waiting to give you a job – you have to go after it yourself.
On the brighter side, here’s a lovely short slide show of ten major growth industries for the next couple of decades – careers you should really be considering as a student now.