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Is a degree the key to getting the perfect job?

By River Reporter Nov 22, 2012

Mimmie Wilhelmson
Kingston graduates’ degrees may count for nothing when they come to apply for jobs, a survey of business owners has revealed.
Out of the 551 respondents from a variety of businesses, 44.3 per cent said that having a degree qualification was of no importance when candidates applied for the job, a survey carried out by XLN Business Services showed recently.
Barney Jones, spokesman for XLN Business Services, said: “Hopefully this study is going to be a sort of call for more research in this area and that people will want to look seriously into this question.
The revelation by XLN emerged along with a report by the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee suggesting that apprenticeships should be considered as important as studying at University.
The report supports the apprenticeship programme proposed by the UK Government, but argues that some areas of it need to be reformed in order for it to be more effective and considerable as a valid alternative to a university qualification.
Areas of the apprenticeship programme that the committee found in need of reforms were delivery and funding, the engagement of apprentices and employers, the quality and value for money.
What graduates earn compared to those without degree
It was revealed earlier this year by the ONS that graduates earn £12,000 more per year than those without a university degree.
Chris Lowfoon, operation manager and responsible for employment at the Kingston-based company Store Point International, said that although having a degree is a major advantage, they also have hired apprentices before.
He said: “I think it’s a good way of getting into the industry, getting your career started.
“There are so many options these days; it’s so many routes to take. Just pick one, stick to it, and keep banging on doors.”
Is an apprenticeship a better option?
Calem Trevor, 20, an ex KU international relations and journalism student who dropped out after his first year, decided to do an apprenticeship and work his way up in the film industry instead.
Mr Trevor started as a camera trainee at a production company. After his apprenticeship ended, he stayed with the company and worked on a paid basis as a camera assistant, as well as a freelance.
“It was different because I didn’t feel like I was wasting any time. I was learning so much every day and I was only there for about two months. I learnt so much that I use now, whereas when I was at uni I just felt useless,” he said.

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