Graduating with Knowledge, but Few ProspectsJuly 13, 2012
I was recently interviewed by The Guardian about ‘what the future holds for a recent graduate’. The sanitised, protective, student-club bubble has been popped and the remnants have evaporated.
After a lengthy discussion with my interviewer, where I released all my pent up anger about my lack of opportunities, the finished production began ‘trending’ on Facebook and Twitter. My whole self-righteous speech about an ailing education system had been edited in to one short sentence.
“Without sounding defeatist, my degree is somewhat worthless.”
Being a Journalism graduate, I should have known that my overall point would have a high chance of being cut down to something that is most newsworthy. Instantly my Lecturer from University contacted me on Facebook, utterly speechless about my comments, he could find no words bar, “Are you a complete idiot?”
For me, it’s an issue that somebody in a secure career cannot understand, somebody who didn’t attempt to forge a working path in the worst recession since the Thatcher days, somebody who is not facing the very real prospect of being unemployed for the foreseeable future.
I naively assumed that due to my high level of academic achievement (I received a First Class Honours Degree in Sports Journalism) that that would separate me from the hundreds of applicants entering my sector. Evidently I was wrong.
My Lecturer took my comments as a personal attack on him and the ‘standard of the course’, but this was not my intention. Quite the contrary. I learnt everything I now know about Journalism from my 3 years at University and loved every minute of my higher education experience. What I am effectively saying is it doesn’t matter how good the course was, how in-depth the feedback, how engaging the content, what matters is can the classification get you past the application stage? In my case it currently cannot.
I was not attacking the University that provided me with the skill-set to face the cavernous realm of future employers, I was attacking a system in which I can achieve a First in a degree classification, that is valued monetarily at the same price as any other and yet it is unable be provide me with an income in my chosen field.
In my right hand I will hold my First Class degree aloft to the envy of undergraduates; in my left I will humbly collect my £56.00 a week at the local Job centre.