Quarter of graduates regret uni

The study of 2,000 graduates found that the most common reasons for regretting their degrees were paying too much (most are now £18,000 in debt), wasting their time and choosing courses unwisely.

It found that nearly half say they’re now working in a job completely unrelated to their degrees, and that they could have achieved the same level through a trainee or apprenticeship scheme.

Joe Crossley, business development director of Qube Learning, which commissioned the study, said, ‘It’s natural for a lot of graduates to finish their degrees expecting to jump on the career ladder almost immediately, but this is often far from the truth. Many students feel the pressure to achieve a high grade otherwise they feel they risk being unemployable but when they finally secure a job, their qualification becomes redundant.

‘It’s also surprising how few undergraduates are advised on alternative routes to university studies. With the amount of debt now accompanying higher education, other options, like Apprenticeships, need to be made more clearly available to people looking to pursue a chosen career.’

A third of those surveyed admitted they don’t even get asked about their degree in job interviews, while just a fifth were made aware of apprenticeships as an option in place of undergraduate university studies following A Levels, with less than five per cent told about distant or online learning.

Meanwhile, one in five said they were behind those who did apprenticeships or went straight to work after school, while one in 10 has since changed careers and is now gaining different qualifications. The same number said they had never used the skills developed in their degree.

Perhaps most striking, more than half said going to university did more for their social life than their careers.

Joe added, ‘It’s imperative that people from as young as 16 years old should be made aware of the educational choices that are out there for them. It does not have to be a traditional path of A-Levels and University, there is a huge amount of scope for individuals to learn a trade, through Traineeships and Apprenticeships, whilst being educated at the same time.’

The top 10 most pointless degrees, according to this research, are: acting; outdoor adventure and environment; office skills; film studies; dance/choreography; drama studies; Celtic and Anglo Saxon studies; fashion merchandising; media studies; and religious studies.