How Tuition Fees Affect GraduatesBlogs
A story that remains persistent in the mainstream media these days is that of tuition fees. And quite rightly so because whether you agree with the rise in fees or not you have to admit that it is a kick of sand in the face of the upcoming generation. Some may even say a political ambush that could block many from achieving what they know they are capable of. But this isn't another blog about how the coalition's plans could or could not upset students and future students, it is about how their plans can affect you. I am assuming that because you are on graduate-jobs.com that you are indeed an ex-student, a graduate who has gone through the educational system and come out at the other end with, what now seems to be, quite a cushty deal. Yes, a pre-2012 degree is beginning to look like the deal of a century, something that current seventeen year olds would jump upon. Twenty grand's worth of debt, you say? For three years? Sign me up! As sympathetic as we all are with the current/future wave(s) of undergraduates, which I for one certainly am, we do have to think about ourselves and the impact that these decisions by the government will have on us, the graduates. Knock on effects could be beneficial - it doesn't take an economics graduate to work out that if degrees become rarer then they will surely be in higher demand. Easier job hunting! Better pay! Quicker promotions! Unfortunately, it's not necessarily as simple as that. You see, just because there are less graduates doesn't mean that everyone suddenly became less intelligent, talented or capable. Many employers will be aware of this and realise that a degree isn't a requirement for a job, that similar skills can be learnt through other, more affordable means such as apprenticeships or sheer work experience. A more imposing idea which some commentators have brought up is that of a graduate degree becoming irrelevant or a sign of a past era. The naughties have been the decade of the degree with the Labour government pressing Blair's "education, education, education" doctrine. For many young people, it has been considered as almost a rite of passage, an essential path to a successful and prosperous career. Could the coalition's reign mark the end of that time and a graduate degree become dated? Fortunately, this is a very unlikely prospect. If we look to the past for some guidance it seems that if degrees do indeed become less common then it will simply mean that they are looked upon more favourably. There could well be an indifferent attitude taken but a negative association is highly doubtful. Predicting a graduate degree's worth is not a science and therefore hard to predict. In fact using the logic that the rarer they become the higher their value is does not hold strong when you consider that in the past decade they have become more yearned for by employers as well as more popular. Unfortunately for those attending university from 2012 I think that the worth of a degree will remain the same, just at a higher price.