In 2016, it can be difficult to find a job ad, even for an entry-level position, that doesn’t contain the following pre-requisite: ‘must have Bachelor degree’.
Yet, as explored on last night’s episode of The Project, only 69 per cent of 2015 university graduates managed to find work within four months of finishing their studies, down from 85 per cent in 2008.
In fact, according to the Graduate Destinations Survey released last year, the proportion of new bachelor degree graduates in full time work is the worst it’s been since the early 1980s.
The reason for that? A phenomenon being dubbed ‘the graduate glut’.
Since 2007, there’s been a 26 per cent increase in the number of people with an undergraduate degree and 41 per cent more have a masters.
All in all, today, more than 60 per cent of Aussies have a higher education qualification.
According to the Group of Eight, an organisation representing some of Australia’s top universities, that’s precisely the problem – there’s an oversupply of highly-qualified job hunters.
In a speech delivered today, Go8 CEO Vicki Thomson noted that in NSW alone, for example, there are more than 47,000 graduates looking for full-time employment as teachers – a figure almost equivalent to the total number of people already employed by the NSW Education Department.
Speaking on The Project last night, Thomson said there is immense pressure on students to obtain a Bachelor degree, often in cases where a TAFE qualification or on-the-job training would suffice.
“There is a lot of work to be done by government, industry and the university sector to ensure that we don’t have those different levels of esteem, and that wherever you go, any education is a good thing,” she said.