7 March 2012

Snobs We Are Not!

It's official says the Guardian, The Times, The Independent, The Daily Mail and even the Metro... graduates these days are NOT stuck-up job/education snobs who are unwilling to take on a job they believe is beneath them. According to BBC Education reporter Judith Burns, "recent graduates are more likely to be working in lower-skilled jobs than they were 10 years ago, new figures suggest." 

So no more of this grad hating please. Stop moaning that we are too proud to work in Tesco or the Pound Shop after having spent £3,500 a year (now more like £9,000 may I remind you) on a full time degree because, actually, many of us are doing just that. Well, more of us than were doing so 10 years ago anyway. We're waiters, promotions staff, shelf-stackers and call centre workers. 

So next time you try blaming us for our unemployment, think twice.

One stand-out statistic shows that the most worthwhile degrees to take are definitely practical. Medicine and dentistry come out on top in terms of wage per hour, closely followed by mathematical sciences, architecture and engineering. And where does History stand? Second from last, beating only the Arts. Typical! Why didn't someone tell me this before I spent over £12,000? In all honesty though I could never have been a doctor. I can't even talk about needles, let alone administer them - I fainted like the pansy I am when  had my BCG for goodness sake. Dentistry doesn't exactly appeal to me either come to think of it. Though I can't imagine staring into random strangers open mouth chasms is that appealing to anyone. 

Maybe I should have chosen a healthy medium and studied law. Law graduates seem to be doing OK. I reckon I could settle a few over-the-fence disputes for £16.95 an hour. Actually just saying those words made me yawn. Or is it the fact that it is 23:30 and I should be asleep? No, pretty sure it's the law thing. 

Still, those of us who are employed seem to be doing better than non graduates who are earning far less than those with a degree. According to the recent research, the average non-graduate hourly wage is £8.92 - which is still more than I, and most waiting staff, earn per hour - but far less than the average graduate wage of £15.18 per hour. Considering the fact that a third of graduates are in 'low skilled' jobs and graduate unemployment is at roughly 25%, it is clear that the lucky ones employed in the above mentioned career areas are the ones earning all the money. Not that studying medicine for 7 years and getting a job is lucky - no one will deny the work that goes into that. 

It's a shame I wasn't cut out for the mathematical sciences or for blood and guts surgery. I'm a word-smith. My brain functions in other ways. Do I deserve to be punished for this? Ha, probably just for the pure arrogance of that sentence. Seriously though, stop with the grad-bashing culture of blame and don't forget that we are all in this together. And to all you unemployed grads out there... keep a little bit of pride. No matter what they say.  



  1. To be honest, it really does come down to luck. Even the work ethic required to complete a law or medical degree is established by a certain amount of luck. Lucky to have nurturing parents, lucky to have wealth (for most), lucky to have the correct set of genes to use a certain side of the brain, lucky to be taught from an early age how to manage time. With 7 billion people on earth, there's more pressure than ever to be perfect (all relativism aside). Alas, so continues the rat race.

  2. I think luck does play a part in it. I was lucky to have parents who wanted me to do well. You could say I was lucky to be born in London with a great choice of schools and jobs, even lucky to be born in England instead of a very poor country with no running water or not enough food let alone job prospects.

    We can't forget however, that despite luck and timing etc playing its part, it's effort and hard work that set us apart from all those other lucky people. Even the luckiest person in the world can't leave it all up to chance. It's why we take the rat race into our own hands and want to win it.