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1st April 2016

Cost of wasted degrees up to £65 billion, says study

Two-thirds of graduates believe their degree has no relevance to the jobs they are in

Nearly two-thirds of graduates believe that their degree has had no relevance to the job they do, meaning that the amount of money wasted on university courses could total up to £65 billion.

A survey carried out by The Knowledge Academy found 64 per cent of the 2,000 surveyed felt that their degree was not relevant to the role they were working in.

With the average graduate having £13,292 of debt according to the survey, and approximately 12 million graduates in the UK, the amount spent on unused degrees could sit at £65 million, around two-thirds of the cost of replacing the Trident nuclear weapons system.

Furthermore, 67 per cent thought they could have got the job they had without having their degree, while 60 per cent said they had never even had to provide proof that they had a degree. A quarter said that there aren’t even small parts of their degree that they use in their job.

Just less than half of respondents felt that having their degree made it easier to get a job, while 51 per cent were either unsure or felt that it was inconsequential. Nearly half wished they had entered the world of work earlier in life and progressed that way.

On the other hand, 85 per cent were thankful they had gone to university, believing it had made their life better whether or not they were using it.

“The high cost of university is often considered necessary in order to progress in a particular career,” said Barinder Hothi, co-founder of The Knowledge Academy, a private training provider. “But, with most valuing the experience of university over the knowledge gained from their degree, one has to ask: is it really worth it?

“Without providing students with a good understanding of all the options available to them, some may find themselves graduating in a subject which is of no use to the career they want.

“Some graduates are perhaps finding that a trainee role would have provided them with the relevant work experience needed to give them an edge many expect a degree to have.”

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