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Regret doing my degree - any other mature students feel the same? Watch

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    (Original post by Abdul-Karim)
    It's a numbers game. Employment for grads is still looking pretty bleak.
    This is what I mean about regretting doing my degree. I actually considered dropping out near the beginning of my second year (explaining away the first year by saying I realised university wasn't for me, bit harder to do with three years ) and looking for work because I realised it wouldn't help my job prospects.

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    Could anyone give me any suggestions of places I could use to explore my options? I know prospects is the obvious one but my degree isn't even listed on there.

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    (Original post by gemmam)
    Could anyone give me any suggestions of places I could use to explore my options? I know prospects is the obvious one but my degree isn't even listed on there.

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    Get another degree in nursing. Since it's fully funded by the NHS isn't it?
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    (Original post by David B)
    Get another degree in nursing. Since it's fully funded by the NHS isn't it?
    I was actually considering doing this in a couple of years, not sure if I'd be suited to nursing though.

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    (Original post by gemmam)
    I was actually considering doing this in a couple of years, not sure if I'd be suited to nursing though.

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    Why don't you think you'd suit it?
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    (Original post by David B)
    Why don't you think you'd suit it?
    Not sure I'd have the patience.

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    (Original post by gemmam)
    Not sure I'd have the patience.

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    You don't know if you don't try. Maybe you should try do some nursing volunteer work and see if you like it or not. Or maybe something related to it.
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    (Original post by David B)
    You don't know if you don't try. Maybe you should try do some nursing volunteer work and see if you like it or not. Or maybe something related to it.
    I'll probably need to do a related access course too.

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    (Original post by gemmam)
    Before I started uni I was actually turned down for a filing clerk job because they said I was too over qualified, kind of dreading my chances now I have a degree :sigh:

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    Several years ago, I was turned down by Tescos as a shelf=stacker/check-out op because I was too over-qualified - this was when I only had A-levels!!

    (Original post by Ftmshk)
    Unless you are applying for jobs that require a degree in a specific subject then having any degree is usually fine. 2:1 is a good degree! When you apply for jobs make sure you give full details of the skills and experience you have gained at university. Some examples might be time management, research skills, group working or giving presentations. I have done lots of recruitment and while having a degree is very useful, employers are looking for someone who can do the job, get any work experience you can and make sure you tell prospective employers about that' not just that you have a degree. Good luck with job hunting :-)


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    I think this is the advice you need. As Mae West probably once said, its not what you have, but what you do with it. So how you portray yourself - which means thinking about what the job entails and twisting your experience to match its needs - is how you go about winning over prospective employers. That and Positive Mental Attitude. I once went for a job I was told I had no chance of getting, I went in very determined, firm but polite and took a portfolio of my previous work. A stunned recruitment officer called me later to say I'd beaten several better qualified applicants to the job.

    From another view point, my dad was an engineer who'd worked his way up through apprenticeship from school, no formal qualifications and after about 40 years in the business (including owning a company), he found himself looking for engineering work. Everyone he approached turned him down because he was too qualified and instead they were recruiting recent post-grads instead with zip experience and a whole load of know-it-all theory (probably because they cost half of what my dad was worth).

    It used to be that you'd be all right getting jobs based on your A-levels, then everyone started getting great A-levels and employers found it harder to weed out applicants so they needed a new criteria. Increasingly now, in fact most of the jobs I see advertised, ask for a degree as a minimum. Even in the field I work in, which is traditionally vocational and very people older than me hold degrees, I am now seeing graduate only jobs which is really upsetting folk. So you may feel at a disadvantage now but maybe your expectations were higher? In the long term, I think (hope) you will the benefit of holding a degree.
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    (Original post by MollyApple)
    Several years ago, I was turned down by Tescos as a shelf=stacker/check-out op because I was too over-qualified - this was when I only had A-levels!!



    I think this is the advice you need. As Mae West probably once said, its not what you have, but what you do with it. So how you portray yourself - which means thinking about what the job entails and twisting your experience to match its needs - is how you go about winning over prospective employers. That and Positive Mental Attitude. I once went for a job I was told I had no chance of getting, I went in very determined, firm but polite and took a portfolio of my previous work. A stunned recruitment officer called me later to say I'd beaten several better qualified applicants to the job.

    From another view point, my dad was an engineer who'd worked his way up through apprenticeship from school, no formal qualifications and after about 40 years in the business (including owning a company), he found himself looking for engineering work. Everyone he approached turned him down because he was too qualified and instead they were recruiting recent post-grads instead with zip experience and a whole load of know-it-all theory (probably because they cost half of what my dad was worth).

    It used to be that you'd be all right getting jobs based on your A-levels, then everyone started getting great A-levels and employers found it harder to weed out applicants so they needed a new criteria. Increasingly now, in fact most of the jobs I see advertised, ask for a degree as a minimum. Even in the field I work in, which is traditionally vocational and very people older than me hold degrees, I am now seeing graduate only jobs which is really upsetting folk. So you may feel at a disadvantage now but maybe your expectations were higher? In the long term, I think (hope) you will the benefit of holding a degree.
    I didn't really have high expectations. Tbh I've never been that fussed about having a high paying job; I just want to have a steady job and earn enough not to struggle. I did the degree because I wanted to get into teaching but that hasn't worked out (although I did apply for a couple of PGCEs through clearance yesterday so we'll see). I've been applying for admin roles but I haven't even had an interview yet, last time I was job hunting I'd have interviews quite regularly; I don't know if its because I don't have recent admin work experience/my related qualifications are outdated or if its because they think Im over qualified because I have a degree. Where have you seen these jobs advertised? It might just be where I live but the majority of jobs I've seen advertised ask for a minimum of GCSEs or specific industry related qualifications.

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    (Original post by gemmam)
    I didn't really have high expectations. Tbh I've never been that fussed about having a high paying job; I just want to have a steady job and earn enough not to struggle. I did the degree because I wanted to get into teaching but that hasn't worked out (although I did apply for a couple of PGCEs through clearance yesterday so we'll see). I've been applying for admin roles but I haven't even had an interview yet, last time I was job hunting I'd have interviews quite regularly; I don't know if its because I don't have recent admin work experience/my related qualifications are outdated or if its because they think Im over qualified because I have a degree. Where have you seen these jobs advertised? It might just be where I live but the majority of jobs I've seen advertised ask for a minimum of GCSEs or specific industry related qualifications.

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    I live in London so maybe that makes a difference. Its also a different job market from before your degree, over the last few years, with the effects of the recession, etc a lot of people lost their jobs, a lot of women decided to take career breaks to start families and are returning to work now, there are just so many more applicants than ever for even the most basic jobs (I know this from a recruitment rep), that sometimes it comes to down to luck whether your CV gets looked at, never mind whats on it. You need to make yourself noticeable and memorable (but in a good way!) but most importantly, don't lose heart, employers can smell desperation in a covering letter as clearly as they can read confidence and positivity. Unemployment rates are going down so people are finding work, but there are still a lot more people looking than there were a few years ago. If you get a written no, you can approach companies you've applied to and ask why they didn't offer you the job/interview. Most of them will be happy to give a reason (even if it is "we had so many applicants, we couldn't interview them all"). At least that way you can work out where your issues lie and address them.

    I understand your frustrations though about wanting something like admin and not have enormous career aspirations. After having my daughter, I really wanted something that was not going to tax my brain and be too demanding, because my home life was that already. It can be really hard to apply this when most career advice suggests dazzling your prospective employers with all the great ambitions you have to rise within their company and bring them great riches, when all you really want to do is answer the phone and be really nice to their customers and make them happy.

    Have you considered volunteering? Its a great way to get experience, looks fantastic on your CV, easy to get, some volunteering jobs cover your travel expenses and its better than doing nothing. I actually got offered a full time, paid job with a charity after volunteering with them once every 3 weeks for a year or so because they had gotten to know me and thought I'd be a good employee. Its something worth serious consideration, plus think of all the fluffies you'll get knowing you're doing good deeds
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    Just a second thought... what level of teaching were you interested in? You might be a good candidate for becoming a classroom assistant which would get you lots of relevant experience and potentially lead to studying the PGCE, using that as your ambition path may be a good way to get the school to give you a job. Plus from what I hear from a TA I know, you end up doing a lot more teaching work beyond your job spec due to staff shortages.
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    I probably shouldn't say this. But can't you just lie on your CV? Don't mention your Degree and see what responses you get then?

    I don't think a degree should be a regret. It is an achievement and shows dedication, hard work and the ability to commit. However, I do agree with other posters that people should chose more vocational subjects if they wish to go straight into work.
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    (Original post by MollyApple)
    I live in London so maybe that makes a difference. Its also a different job market from before your degree, over the last few years, with the effects of the recession, etc a lot of people lost their jobs, a lot of women decided to take career breaks to start families and are returning to work now, there are just so many more applicants than ever for even the most basic jobs (I know this from a recruitment rep), that sometimes it comes to down to luck whether your CV gets looked at, never mind whats on it. You need to make yourself noticeable and memorable (but in a good way!) but most importantly, don't lose heart, employers can smell desperation in a covering letter as clearly as they can read confidence and positivity. Unemployment rates are going down so people are finding work, but there are still a lot more people looking than there were a few years ago. If you get a written no, you can approach companies you've applied to and ask why they didn't offer you the job/interview. Most of them will be happy to give a reason (even if it is "we had so many applicants, we couldn't interview them all"). At least that way you can work out where your issues lie and address them.

    I understand your frustrations though about wanting something like admin and not have enormous career aspirations. After having my daughter, I really wanted something that was not going to tax my brain and be too demanding, because my home life was that already. It can be really hard to apply this when most career advice suggests dazzling your prospective employers with all the great ambitions you have to rise within their company and bring them great riches, when all you really want to do is answer the phone and be really nice to their customers and make them happy.

    Have you considered volunteering? Its a great way to get experience, looks fantastic on your CV, easy to get, some volunteering jobs cover your travel expenses and its better than doing nothing. I actually got offered a full time, paid job with a charity after volunteering with them once every 3 weeks for a year or so because they had gotten to know me and thought I'd be a good employee. Its something worth serious consideration, plus think of all the fluffies you'll get knowing you're doing good deeds
    Yes I currently volunteer for a local charity and I also do volunteering with Girlguiding UK during term time. I actually got one of my previous jobs through volunteering.

    (Original post by MollyApple)
    Just a second thought... what level of teaching were you interested in? You might be a good candidate for becoming a classroom assistant which would get you lots of relevant experience and potentially lead to studying the PGCE, using that as your ambition path may be a good way to get the school to give you a job. Plus from what I hear from a TA I know, you end up doing a lot more teaching work beyond your job spec due to staff shortages.
    Primary or FE. I have thought about that but all the jobs I've seen advertised want you to have NVQ 2 and 3 in a related qualification.


    (Original post by Paprika123)
    I probably shouldn't say this. But can't you just lie on your CV? Don't mention your Degree and see what responses you get then?

    I don't think a degree should be a regret. It is an achievement and shows dedication, hard work and the ability to commit. However, I do agree with other posters that people should chose more vocational subjects if they wish to go straight into work.
    That'll leave a three year gap which would hinder my chances more.
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    Well an update: I got on an FE PGCE via clearance; however the training provided by the partnership college was very poor so I didn't have much choice but to drop out. I'm in two minds if I should try again somewhere else in September or just give up on the idea of having a career altogether and try to get a basic admin job like I had before my degree.

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    (Original post by gemmam)
    Well an update: I got on an FE PGCE via clearance; however the training provided by the partnership college was very poor so I didn't have much choice but to drop out. I'm in two minds if I should try again somewhere else in September or just give up on the idea of having a career altogether and try to get a basic admin job like I had before my degree.

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    Does your uni do post-graduate careers advice?
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    (Original post by Sarky)
    Does your uni do post-graduate careers advice?
    Yes they do. I don't think they'll be much use in my case though.

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    (Original post by gemmam)
    Yes they do. I don't think they'll be much use in my case though.

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    What have you got to lose? You sound very negative and I understand why to some extent but you feel stuck maybe they can suggest something you haven't thought of.
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    (Original post by Sarky)
    What have you got to lose? You sound very negative and I understand why to some extent but you feel stuck maybe they can suggest something you haven't thought of.
    I know what I want to do its just deciding between those two choices.

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    Many office workers have degrees! You definitely won't be over qualified. What you will need is some work experience so try and get something as soon as you can 😄


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