Tales of daily life from a 20-something Student from London.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Graduate Gripes

When I first went to university, I thought it was the best decision I'd ever made. I'd leave here with a ticket to a top job, sensible wages, I'd move out within a year, and get ready to start living. If anything, that was how my college sold it to me. Work? Getting a job? What a ridiculous prospect, you need to further your learning. I still feel their pushing of higher education was something to do with them getting alumni in high places, but that's irrelevant now. And in a way, so is the prospect of uni itself.

Not that I didn't enjoy uni as such. I loved it, I met great people, and had great fun. But, almost 3 months after officially finishing, and, by my count, 63 jobs applied for, I've had a grand total of two 'we'll put you on our shortlist', 1 interview, tonnes of 'we had so many applications we weren't able to look at yours and, like more or less every other graduate, no sniff of a 'welcome to the team'. And that's just the jobs I can apply for. There are so many grads nowadays, a lot of employers are finding cheeky ways to sift through candidates that, 10 years ago, would have been close to the top of the pile. 'Minimum 300 UCAS points' needed to apply. That's 3 B's at A-Level, more than a lot of Uni's require you to get accepted onto a course. 'A degree from a top 20 university'. Ok, I get that Oxford is a damn sight better than Sheffield Hallam, but why can I not even apply? Why is my English Degree worth less than an English Degree from say, a university 5 places above? Is it easier? I doubt it. Is the content any different? Well again, I wouldn't imagine so. And yet still, I wouldn't even be given a second glance. I'm left, with a respectable 2:1 from an upper-mid table uni, to apply for jobs that don't exactly seem appealing, despite the fact I've studied for three years to even be able to apply for them. Nowadays, us 2:1 holders are propping up the table.

I don't have any gripe with anyone who's earned a first, as, like I've just said, they earned it, and deserve it. I've got no problem with being second best to a first class honours student at an interview. My problem is, nowadays, I can't even apply to most jobs. I was 0.375 marks into the grade boundary for a 2:1. Had I been just a little bit below, I'd have got a 2:2. Applying for 'graduate' jobs with a 2:2? Forget it. And all those first class students who aren't from a top 20 uni? Well, they're all applying for the jobs that in the past, a 2:1 student would've taken. It's dominoes, and nowhere near as good as the pizza. And so, here I am, on a Friday afternoon, no money, seemingly no prospects, and parents worried about me finding a job and being unhappy, applying for jobs marketed at college leavers. And I ask myself, what was the point?