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Timmy elswhere

At City AM.

If the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development is telling us that 58.8 per cent of graduates are doing non-graduate jobs, obviously too large a proportion of that age cohort is going to university. This is true whether we consider either of those economists’ favourites, supply or demand. More than half of the people who have the piece of paper can’t get a job which requires it: thus there isn’t the demand for the number of graduates we’re producing at vast cost. Or perhaps supply is wrong: more than half of those educated with a degree aren’t in fact being educated. Fortunately, we’ve a method of working all this out: net present values (NPV). If the NPV of a project is positive, it adds value; if negative, it makes us all poorer. Currently, certain arts degrees for men have negative NPVs and the number of fields where this is true is increasing over time. Some degrees lose everyone money: thus there must be too many of them.

17 thoughts on “Timmy elswhere”

  1. So why does the Government encourage this?
    Is it a) stupidity b) some other benefit we don’t know about but they do or c) they don’t want to lose votes by closing down some uni.
    I guess a and c

  2. IMHO, any and all moves made by government to get school kids (a) to be “educated” longer and (b) go into “higher education” are nothing more than cynical attempts to massage the unemployment figures. I reckon it’s only a matter of time before PhDs become compulsary.

  3. I am part of that 58.8%.
    And happy in the job I do. Very glad I went to uni when i did, could not manage it now.
    Is there a particular requirement to get a graduate job?

  4. Getting a job that requires a degree isn’t the only reason for getting a degree.

    Graduating and immediately going to a job that requires a degree is an unrealistic measure. Two years out, or some such milestone would be more reflective of what is going on.

  5. Worse, those with a poor degree result are shunned by those employers who want a degree, and by those who don’t. And university doesn’t do much for some things which matter, like initiative.

  6. @ Gamecock
    The 58.8% is not just new graduates – it is the percentage (in 2010 – this “new” research contains data for 2010 with comparable data for 2004) off *all* graduates who are doing jobs that do not need a degree.
    A quick calculation suggests that 90-odd% of those graduating in 2004 and later were still doing “non-graduate” jobs in 2010 – probably not quite true.

  7. I don’t have a problem with non-employment related degrees as long as they perform an educational function, the school system fails to perform ie to think critically, to identify error and bias, to construct and order an argument so that it is coherent, clear and concise, in whatever subject. These are transferrable skills and a preparation for life. The social science departments are burdened by solipcism, groupthink and plain indoctrination, they should not be part of any selfrespecting university or cv.

  8. I’ve lost the reference, but recently saw an economist arguing that the idea there are too many graduates is wrong because the wage premium for graduates is not falling

  9. “I’ve lost the reference, but recently saw an economist arguing that the idea there are too many graduates is wrong because the wage premium for graduates is not falling”

    Is that all graduates, or just those in “graduate jobs”?

  10. Everyone spends eleven years minimum, starting at the age of five, being told that you can’t have too much education nor too many qualifications. We are taught this in all sincerity by people who have enjoyed success by this path. Education is the only industry allowed to advertise to young people on anything like this scale.
    These days every politician and civil servant has got a degree, to which they attribute their success- and each has therefor had rather more than eleven years being told that you can’t have too many qualifications. They therefor think that more education will produce a more skilled workforce.
    Everyone is therefor open to sales pitches from universities asking for more customers and hence more money.
    Whether that which is actually learned is beneficial or not is variable- sometimes its essential, sometimes its useless, mostly its in between- but nobody appears to be assessing that.
    Plus of course there are a lot of jobs where employers insist on degrees, without having any requirement for that level of learning- think primary school teachers, who will use next to nothing of their degree level knowledge, but are required to have a degree anyway.

  11. john77
    August 20, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    @ Gamecock
    The 58.8% is not just new graduates


    K. It’s worse than I thougt.

    I revert to my first statement. It is better to go through life as an educated man, regardless of profession.

  12. I can remember way back that the Arts peoiple said there was more to life than science. They – the arts- broadened the mind etc.
    Maybe but you still want a job that puts food on the table and a woman in your bed.

  13. Bloke in Costa Rica

    Gamecock: “It is better to go through life as an educated man, regardless of profession.” Granted, but begging the question that those emerging from the modern British or US university have been educated. I suppose the best case for most of them is that they have been taught; a non-trivial proportion has simply been indoctrinated, and thereby rendered less useful than if they had foregone university altogether.

  14. idea there are too many graduates is wrong because the wage premium for graduates is not falling only works if all graduates are equal, clearly some are better than others.

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