What Does a Degree Get You?

Almost half of Aussie graduates don’t believe their degree prepared them for the real world.

The fact that unemployment among 18-24 year olds is at a 13 year high – 14.1 per cent compared to the national rate of 6.4 per cent – suggests employers reckon this is the case too.

The survey by online jobs site OneShift found a further 80 per cent of grads believe work experience is valued more highly by employers than tertiary qualifications.

The trouble is, to get a look in for just about any professional job, you need a piece of paper attesting your ability to learn: a degree.

How to tackle the problem

The best solution to overly theoretical lectures from – lets be honest – academic fossils that haven’t seen the inside of an active business in a decade, is seeking out real world experience yourself.

Getting your hands dirty while you’re still studying through placements, internships or a stint at an interesting business gives you invaluable insights into what working is really like.

Maybe you’ll find that finance isn’t so sexy, that arts might not get you where you want to go or that you don’t really like people in the media.

These are the type of home truths best learnt before your degree is done. The type of truths that will help you make an informed decision about what to study and where you want to work.

Plus, work experience during uni will make you much more attractive to potential employers down the track.

And the keener they are, the more likely you’ll be to stay out of that 14.1 per cent.

What do you think? Was your degree a useful tool or just a good excuse to party too hard? Let us know in the comments or drop us a line on Facebook or Twitter

Image courtesy Dave Herholz, via Flickr