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Does having a degree mean you are 'above' certain jobs?

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    There may well have been debate about this before, but I thought I'd put it out here after a discussion a group of my friends had today.

    We know someone in their early 20's who has a 2.1 science degree from a middle-ranking university with one years work experience (but was sacked from their last job), who refuses to apply for an office job paying 17k, never mind bar work. They have sat on their arse for the past however many months refusing to consider anything under £23k. The person has said to us: 'Why should I? I have a degree! I'm too good to do rubbish jobs".

    My friendship group felt like the person was unjustified in doing this. We're all medical students, but we don't feel that we're 'above' mopping a floor, changing beer barrels or handing out pasties to make some money to get by. I know plenty of people who have a degree who work as porters or as healthcare assistants, and are happy to do so as a stop-gap while they work out other plans/apply for other jobs. Some people felt the person was really arrogant, as lots of people have a degree these days and theirs isn't particularly show-stopping.

    Should having a degree rule you out of unskilled work? Or is it a reality of a recession that you may have to settle for a menial job for the meantime?

    EDIT: Just thought I'd clarify that I think said person is an idiot, but wondered if others thought differently!
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    No that's ridiculous. Just because you have a degree it doesn't mean that you shouldn't be prepared to work jobs you may not like. The majority of people would have to do it, why mot him? There are people with better degree qualifications out of work, but willing to work jobs they don't want to do. Then hopefully better job opportunities in the future.

    Tell your friend to stop being a conceited dick and apply for work. It'll only help him right now.
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    People that refuse perfectly good jobs are idiots, nobody is 'above' any job.

    I appreciate it may be frustrating working a job you could have got without a degree but you can still look for work whilst making some money. Employees will probably be delighted to see that you were willing to graft until a better job became available rather than sitting on your arse moaning about how unfair the system is and how certain work is beneath you. :rolleyes:
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    Their loss if they turn down 17k and instead opt to sit on their arse earning nothing, let the job go to someone who will appreciate it instead. In any case the longer they're out of work the bigger the black stain on their employment record. Future employers are going to want to know what they were doing for X many months when they weren't employed, if they're just sitting around twiddling their thumbs then it's not exactly going to look good. In the current climate any work is better than no work.
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    it happens the other way - employers can decide that they don't want to hire someone they think will soon get a better offer and leave them in the lurch... generally that'll be a type of job where they're hoping to train someone up rather than bare menial work.

    you're a bit of an idiot if you think the world owes you a > average salary...
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    If you have a 1st class Hons degree from Cambridge, then yeah, you're "above" certain menial jobs.

    EDIT: BTW I meant long-term, I'm not saying that a broke-ass Cambridge graduate should turn his nose up at a job opportunity that could help him pay rent & feed him/herself.
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    many graduates think like that, I do think it's unjustifiable, and to be frank, very snobby. Not that degrees aren't difficult, but what makes you think that because you studied for 3 years more, that you are above an unskilled job. Find work, and if you aren't happy with it, keep looking while you're working.

    (Original post by Newbie123)
    If you have a 1st class Hons degree from Cambridge, then yeah, you're "above" certain menial jobs.
    I disagree
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    Ridiculous. No one should have the right to turn down a job just because they have a degree and think themselves above it. I sincerely hope your friend isn't claiming benefits because he doesn't deserve them.

    I appreciate that a person might feel disinclined to accept a job offer of, say, cleaning if they have a good degree and they might be frustrated that they've spent thousands on their degree but appear to have ended up where they would have done had they not gone to university. But chances are that job isn't going to be forever - the job market is slow but that doesn't mean it's impossible to get where you want to be. You just have to wait longer to get what you want than you had to do 10 or so years ago. But any experience is better than nothing and your friend is more likely to get the job he wants if he has experience of some work, regardless of what it is, than if he has experience of sitting on the sofa and getting through the whole Torchwood boxset in a day. He already has a big enough problem explaining why he was sacked from his first job so he doesn't want to add to that by appearing lazy and unwilling.
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    I think it must be frustrating - but you don't see students, who have A-Levels complaining that they have to do menial work despite having A-Levels. It's all about your situation and the economy.

    If your situation is unemployed, burden on the state/your parents/your partner, then nothing is beneath you because you have nothing at the moment. Everything is better than what you've got.

    If you're in a management job and your employer wants to demote you for no reason, then that is beneath you as you have shown you are capable of doing better and are doing better.
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    (Original post by Newbie123)
    If you have a 1st class Hons degree from Cambridge, then yeah, you're "above" certain menial jobs.
    Nahhh. I've met plenty of people i wouldn't trust with a spoon, nevermind a(ny) job, who have more letters after their name than there are letters in the alphabet.

    If they don't want to work for less than 23k, no problem. There are legions of people that would kill for that job. The big question is whether their skills are worth 23k to anybody...it's an employers market at the mo.

    Difference of 5k? Lose a third of that to the man and we're talking a £75/week difference in take home. Might as well be in a job getting some experience - at these low levels, it's not a money thing anyway.
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    I saw a post a while ago, I can't remember if it was here or somewhere else, but I don't take credit for this, I just think it sums up this problem pretty much (I'm paraphrasing):
    Adults tell us when we're younger that we can mess about and leave school at 16 and then go into a job in McDonalds or cleaning toilets for minimum wage, or we can work hard and go to university and get good jobs with good pay. Then after we go through years of education to get a good degree, the same adults tell us we're stuck up and snobby because we refuse jobs in McDonalds and cleaning toilets for minimum wage.
    I understand the job market isn't brilliant at the moment, but I do understand why people aren't happy to have spent at least 5 extra years in education to be told 'You should take the same job you could have had if you left school at 16, stop thinking it's beneath you just because you have a degree!'
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    (Original post by Pride)
    I disagree
    Perhaps I should clarify?

    If you have a 1st class degree from a world-renowned university for a competitive, respected course, that should qualify you for certain jobs. So in the long-term, this hypothetical person with the degree should be aiming to make the most of his degree in terms of finding an occupation - i.e. for this person to just get a job working the tills at ASDA wouldn't be appropriate, seeing as he/she has a realistic opportunity at competing for a "better" job with better career prospects.

    Of course, if money is short, you should do whatever you can, but you can't disagree that a person with superb qualifications would be wasting their education if they were to work a menial job for 10+ years.
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    You're not above unskilled work just because you have a certificate that says you went to university, no. It's completely unreasonable to expect a well-paid graduate job to be handed to you and not working for any less than £23k in the current climate with very little experience, especially from someone who has quite a sizeable gap in their CV from not having a job for the past few months.

    I totally understand that working for minimum wage after getting a degree can be quite upsetting for some, because you are qualified to do this when you leave school, however a job is a job and it's money that you can take home with you and say you earned. I would be so much more proud of myself after a day's work in a fast food restaurant coming home with money I've worked for than going to collect benefits for sitting at home all day.
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    I wouldn't say above but it would be quite hilarious if people with top degrees from universities ended up working in Mcdonalds.
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    (Original post by brabzzz)
    Nahhh. I've met plenty of people i wouldn't trust with a spoon, nevermind a(ny) job, who have more letters after their name than there are letters in the alphabet.

    If they don't want to work for less than 23k, no problem. There are legions of people that would kill for that job. The big question is whether their skills are worth 23k to anybody...it's an employers market at the mo.
    A 1st class degree from Cambridge would qualify you to be in the running for jobs worth > 23k/year, and for some serious career prospects.
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    Agree with what most others have said, people should do what they need to do to get by rather than depending on the state/ parents/ whatever. If he thinks he's "above" certain jobs it's only going to be to his own detriment at the end of the day though... he's gonna be the one losing out on the money/ experience of working (any experience is good experience imo).
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    (Original post by SpicyStrawberry)
    You're not above unskilled work just because you have a certificate that says you went to university, no. It's completely unreasonable to expect a well-paid graduate job to be handed to you and not working for any less than £23k in the current climate with very little experience, especially from someone who has quite a sizeable gap in their CV from not having a job for the past few months.

    I totally understand that working for minimum wage after getting a degree can be quite upsetting for some, because you are qualified to do this when you leave school, however a job is a job and it's money that you can take home with you and say you earned. I would be so much more proud of myself after a day's work in a fast food restaurant coming home with money I've worked for than going to collect benefits for sitting at home all day.
    I was speaking in the long-term.

    Anyone who is broke and is picky about which jobs they do is just stupid.
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    (Original post by Newbie123)
    Perhaps I should clarify?

    If you have a 1st class degree from a world-renowned university for a competitive, respected course, that should qualify you for certain jobs. So in the long-term, this hypothetical person with the degree should be aiming to make the most of his degree in terms of finding an occupation - i.e. for this person to just get a job working the tills at ASDA wouldn't be appropriate, seeing as he/she has a realistic opportunity at competing for a "better" job with better career prospects.

    Of course, if money is short, you should do whatever you can, but you can't disagree that a person with superb qualifications would be wasting their education if they were to work a menial job for 10+ years.
    Most people who went to university have a realistic opportunity of going for a "better" job than unskilled work in a supermarket, though. You need to be realistic, if you haven't got the experience it's unlikely you'll get the decent well-paid job no matter how good your qualifications are.

    It is frustrating though, I don't understand how employers all seem to expect several years experience for even minimum wage jobs; if you're a recent graduate or school-leaver, how are you even supposed to get on the ladder if this is the case? It's a tricky situation. I'm not for any moment saying a person with a 1st from a top uni should expect to be working in a minimum wage job for the rest of their life, but people who have recently graduated with little experience shouldn't set their sights too high or consider themselves above anyone else just because of this.
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    Tbh, that guy is being a dick.

    It's better to have a ****ty job than no job at all.

    Future employers will otherwise question why there is an employment gap between XX 2011 and XX 2012, and saying that you could not find a "decent" job will not go down well.

    Honestly, I'd rather clean toilets than be a benefit scrounger who cba to look for work, because if anything, that'd show my commitment and work ethic. :zomg:
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    (Original post by minimarshmallow)
    I saw a post a while ago, I can't remember if it was here or somewhere else, but I don't take credit for this, I just think it sums up this problem pretty much (I'm paraphrasing):
    Adults tell us when we're younger that we can mess about and leave school at 16 and then go into a job in McDonalds or cleaning toilets for minimum wage, or we can work hard and go to university and get good jobs with good pay. Then after we go through years of education to get a good degree, the same adults tell us we're stuck up and snobby because we refuse jobs in McDonalds and cleaning toilets for minimum wage.
    I understand the job market isn't brilliant at the moment, but I do understand why people aren't happy to have spent at least 5 extra years in education to be told 'You should take the same job you could have had if you left school at 16, stop thinking it's beneath you just because you have a degree!'
    Yeah in that case the assumption would probably be that the graduate is using it as a stop-gap job rather than a long term career.

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