Do you use your degree?

Many of Scotland’s graduates have not benefitted from or used their degree in the world of work. New research conducted by Able Skills surveyed graduates from Scotland and found that more 
than four in 10 (47%) feel they 
could be in the same position without a degree, while (15%) said their degree was a waste of money. This may explain why 13% of Scotland’s graduates went as far as to say they were embarrassed by their degree.

• 22% of Scottish graduates say their degree was pointless

• 44% of Scottish graduates don’t use their degree in their job

• 35% of all graduates across the UK wish they didn’t go to university at all

Almost half of all graduates surveyed across the UK (48%) believe they could be earning more if they started working straight from school and 35% wish they didn’t go to university at all. Perhaps because they are not using their degrees, almost three in 10 of all (27%) graduates have never used their 
qualification at work. But this doesn’t look set to change; over half (58%) of employed graduates have no plans to move jobs to make use of their studies.

Top most useless degrees according to Scottish graduates are Art History, Fashion, Religious Studies, Human Resources Management, Film Studies, Media Studies, Philosophy, Sports 
Management, Drama and Politics.

Even mainstream subjects have 
not led graduates across the UK to 
relevant jobs. Almost two thirds 
of Geography and History (62%) 
graduates admitted they have never used what they learnt in employment. This is followed by a third (33%) 
who studied Psychology or Sociology that have also never made use of 
their learnings.

Gary Measures, managing director of Able Skills, said: “The education, education, education boom in the 90s has had a knock-on effect. Many graduates seem to have taken this on board without seriously considering what they wanted to do post study. Evidently, further education is not the best career route for everyone and is such an investment that young people seriously need to consider their skill set and future before taking on such a commitment of their time and 
money. More needs to be done to educate young people on the other options available to prevent another generation making the same mistakes when they could be earning and on a career 
ladder.”

A lack of planning could be the 
problem as a quarter of graduates 
in Scotland (25%) didn’t know what they wanted to do with their 
degree after studying, while (23%) ended up doing something else 
entirely.

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