Perhaps We Shouldn’t Have Expanded The Universities?
THERE’S a fairly basic economic concept which states that if you increase the supply of something then the price of that thing is going to go down. Other things being equal, of course. There are exceptions but they’re exceedingly rare (wheat noodles in North China and rice in South China being the only two proven examples of Giffen Goods known).
So, when we decide to move from 10-15% of the age group going to university to 50% of it doing so what do we think is going to happen to the price of graduates? Quite:
Almost half of all recent university leavers are now working in non-graduate jobs, as those with media studies degrees fare the worst, a new report shows.
So those who have had that three years of discussing Gramsci in relation to The Simpsons find that this skill is not greatly desired outside in the real world. That is a surprise, isn’t it?
Other courses which were comparatively high-paying include engineering (£42,000), physical and environmental sciences (£36,000), and architecture (£35,000). Others which led to comparatively low-pay jobs were linguistics, English and classics (£26,400) and arts (£21,900).
Although media studies graduates were the worst paid – and therefore most likely to be in unskilled roles – they were, however, more likely to be some form of work than almost all of their counterparts.
Well, yes, we can understand that too. The call centres and the burger shops where the arts graduates do get jobs tend not to pay very much.
It’s interesting how these old economic verities keep popping up again and again, isn’t it? Produce more apples and the price of apples falls. Produce more graduates and the price of graduates falls.
And a little piece of advice to those thinking about going to university. The numbers are now that getting an arts degree from a non-Russell Group university (ie, media studies from a former tech or poly) will actually cost you money over your lifetime, not make it for you. Better to go and do something that people actually want to pay for, like medicine of engineering, or just go to work without a degree at all.