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    Hi all, my first post here. I just need to vent some stuff, and I'm wondering if others feel the same way too. Warning, long post!

    Firstly, a little bit about me: I spent four years at college studying to attain an HNC in Electrical Engineering, with the aspiration of entering the aerospace industry. I have absolutely no previous work experience, apart from two week-long work placements that I did at school/sixth form. I have a driving license and my own car.

    I know that I could’ve got a Saturday job etc during my time at college, but I just never needed the money (I lived at home and was not a big spender), and I did cash-in-hand jobs gardening for local neighbours etc. to tide me over. And I honestly didn’t think that not having part-time supermarket experience would hold me back in an engineering career if I were suitably qualified.

    I have a good amount of hobbies and interests – I like tinkering with electronics and building computers, I provide IT support to elderly neighbours (not for money – purely because I’m a nice guy and I enjoy solving problems and helping people), and I’m also taking flying lessons, amongst other things.

    Above all I love aerospace and engineering, and I really passionately want to work within that industry. I’ve made all this clear on my CV and covering letter, which I’ve had looked over by a family friend who is a recruitment professional.

    Anyway, upon leaving college, I started looking for jobs within the aerospace industry, but quickly found that I hadn't got a cat-in-hell's chance of getting into that industry without previous experience working within it.

    So I started looking for engineering jobs in general, but again I encountered the same problem - employers want experienced/certified people. And I'm not just talking about general work experience, but very specific experience of working on certain types of systems or with specific pieces of equipment, etc. It's not like I’ve been trying to get engineering management positions – I’ve just been looking at entry-level technician jobs, but even with an HNC (which in many cases is well above the educational requirements), I don’t come close to the experience requirements.

    So, within the last year I've begrudgingly started looking for any job I can get, but to my amazement (and annoyance), I've found the same problem yet again - despite my qualifications, I can't get a look in as I have no previous experience. I can’t even get as far as an interview – so I know it’s not down to my personality etc. I’ve even offered to work for free and been rejected.

    Now, I'm sure others here have encountered the same scenario, so I'm wondering - is it just me that’s getting more than a little cheesed off with this state of affairs?

    It really has nothing to do with thinking I'm better than, or somehow above, working in a supermarket etc. (which for the record I have applied for - and been rejected from) – indeed, the very fact that I have applied for such positions shows that I'm perfectly willing to do that kind of work, even though it isn't what I want to do long-term.

    Nor do I have some kind of sense of entitlement that the government/society etc. somehow owes me a job - because I don't think that at all. I don't claim any benefits and support myself from what's left of my student maintenance loan, which someday I'll have to pay back.

    But what it is about, is expectation. I did four years at college, studying an in-depth technical subject, precisely so that I wouldn’t have to start at the very bottom of the employment ladder.

    So what really does cheese me off, is someone telling me that I'm not "suitably qualified", or cannot "demonstrate the required attributes" to stack shelves/clean floors/wait tables, etc. I have an HNC in engineering, and although I accept that my CV might not look like much on paper, I think I'm more than capable of doing the job in question.

    What some employers need to realise, is that many of their applicants are vastly over-qualified for the jobs they are applying for, and have studied for many years to get their qualifications with the expectation of doing what they want to do.

    I’ve heard stories of people going on day-long “selection” events for minimum wage cleaning jobs, where they have to do role play and other such nonsense. Some companies really do need to get over themselves, from the way they act you’d think that they were recruiting for astronauts.

    And why does every job advert these days seem to start along the lines of “We are seeking an exemplary candidate who….”? There was a time when being a decent guy who wanted to do an honest job was enough, but these days, it seems like everybody has to be extraordinary, even for mediocre jobs.

    I do know that I’m competing against many people who are both more qualified and more experienced than me - I was looking at a supermarket job the other day that had 100+ applicants, and that was just via one website (it was advertised on many). I also read an article recently that said nearly 60% of graduates are now working in non-graduate jobs.

    Honestly, I don't even blame employers for favouring experience over academic qualifications – on my engineering course, it was mostly just theory, and I don’t think we studied a single thing that you might be asked to do in the modern workplace. The simple fact is that our education system is not producing people who have employable skills.

    But do qualifications, hobbies/interests, and personal attributes really not count for anything these days?

    I think New Labour’s policy (I wasn’t going to do politics but - oops, I went there!) of getting everybody into further education has simply led to qualification devaluation. In hindsight I wish I’d gone and got an engineering apprenticeship when I was 16 – I’d have got paid, a guaranteed job, and probably been just as qualified as I am now. But back when I was at school, we were told that sixth form/college/university was the best way to go, because that’s what all the “smart & successful” people do.

    I do feel "sold down the river" by the education system – I spent four years, and got nine grand into debt, with the promise that, quote, “once you’re qualified you’ll be snapped up”, only to have to go and apply for jobs that I could’ve done had I left school with no GCSEs – and still get rejected for them.

    Anyway, if you’re still with me, thanks for reading. I just had to get that off my chest. I’d be interested in hearing others’ stories and experiences of the post-education job market.

    Thanks for reading,

    M
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    All I can say is that I feel for you, I'm 18, have 10 GCSEs A*-C and am on £20k. Next month I should be on £22k and by the end of the year £28k.
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    (Original post by RandomUser#46353)
    Hi all, my first post here. I just need to vent some stuff, and I'm wondering if others feel the same way too. Warning, long post!

    Firstly, a little bit about me: I spent four years at college studying to attain an HNC in Electrical Engineering, with the aspiration of entering the aerospace industry. I have absolutely no previous work experience, apart from two week-long work placements that I did at school/sixth form. I have a driving license and my own car.

    I know that I could’ve got a Saturday job etc during my time at college, but I just never needed the money (I lived at home and was not a big spender), and I did cash-in-hand jobs gardening for local neighbours etc. to tide me over. And I honestly didn’t think that not having part-time supermarket experience would hold me back in an engineering career if I were suitably qualified.

    I have a good amount of hobbies and interests – I like tinkering with electronics and building computers, I provide IT support to elderly neighbours (not for money – purely because I’m a nice guy and I enjoy solving problems and helping people), and I’m also taking flying lessons, amongst other things.

    Above all I love aerospace and engineering, and I really passionately want to work within that industry. I’ve made all this clear on my CV and covering letter, which I’ve had looked over by a family friend who is a recruitment professional.

    Anyway, upon leaving college, I started looking for jobs within the aerospace industry, but quickly found that I hadn't got a cat-in-hell's chance of getting into that industry without previous experience working within it.

    So I started looking for engineering jobs in general, but again I encountered the same problem - employers want experienced/certified people. And I'm not just talking about general work experience, but very specific experience of working on certain types of systems or with specific pieces of equipment, etc. It's not like I’ve been trying to get engineering management positions – I’ve just been looking at entry-level technician jobs, but even with an HNC (which in many cases is well above the educational requirements), I don’t come close to the experience requirements.

    So, within the last year I've begrudgingly started looking for any job I can get, but to my amazement (and annoyance), I've found the same problem yet again - despite my qualifications, I can't get a look in as I have no previous experience. I can’t even get as far as an interview – so I know it’s not down to my personality etc. I’ve even offered to work for free and been rejected.

    Now, I'm sure others here have encountered the same scenario, so I'm wondering - is it just me that’s getting more than a little cheesed off with this state of affairs?

    It really has nothing to do with thinking I'm better than, or somehow above, working in a supermarket etc. (which for the record I have applied for - and been rejected from) – indeed, the very fact that I have applied for such positions shows that I'm perfectly willing to do that kind of work, even though it isn't what I want to do long-term.

    Nor do I have some kind of sense of entitlement that the government/society etc. somehow owes me a job - because I don't think that at all. I don't claim any benefits and support myself from what's left of my student maintenance loan, which someday I'll have to pay back.

    But what it is about, is expectation. I did four years at college, studying an in-depth technical subject, precisely so that I wouldn’t have to start at the very bottom of the employment ladder.

    So what really does cheese me off, is someone telling me that I'm not "suitably qualified", or cannot "demonstrate the required attributes" to stack shelves/clean floors/wait tables, etc. I have an HNC in engineering, and although I accept that my CV might not look like much on paper, I think I'm more than capable of doing the job in question.

    What some employers need to realise, is that many of their applicants are vastly over-qualified for the jobs they are applying for, and have studied for many years to get their qualifications with the expectation of doing what they want to do.

    I’ve heard stories of people going on day-long “selection” events for minimum wage cleaning jobs, where they have to do role play and other such nonsense. Some companies really do need to get over themselves, from the way they act you’d think that they were recruiting for astronauts.

    And why does every job advert these days seem to start along the lines of “We are seeking an exemplary candidate who….”? There was a time when being a decent guy who wanted to do an honest job was enough, but these days, it seems like everybody has to be extraordinary, even for mediocre jobs.

    I do know that I’m competing against many people who are both more qualified and more experienced than me - I was looking at a supermarket job the other day that had 100+ applicants, and that was just via one website (it was advertised on many). I also read an article recently that said nearly 60% of graduates are now working in non-graduate jobs.

    Honestly, I don't even blame employers for favouring experience over academic qualifications – on my engineering course, it was mostly just theory, and I don’t think we studied a single thing that you might be asked to do in the modern workplace. The simple fact is that our education system is not producing people who have employable skills.

    But do qualifications, hobbies/interests, and personal attributes really not count for anything these days?

    I think New Labour’s policy (I wasn’t going to do politics but - oops, I went there!) of getting everybody into further education has simply led to qualification devaluation. In hindsight I wish I’d gone and got an engineering apprenticeship when I was 16 – I’d have got paid, a guaranteed job, and probably been just as qualified as I am now. But back when I was at school, we were told that sixth form/college/university was the best way to go, because that’s what all the “smart & successful” people do.

    I do feel "sold down the river" by the education system – I spent four years, and got nine grand into debt, with the promise that, quote, “once you’re qualified you’ll be snapped up”, only to have to go and apply for jobs that I could’ve done had I left school with no GCSEs – and still get rejected for them.

    Anyway, if you’re still with me, thanks for reading. I just had to get that off my chest. I’d be interested in hearing others’ stories and experiences of the post-education job market.

    Thanks for reading,

    M
    I do understand your frustrations, many were sold the myth that a university degree on its own would be enough. But with so many graduates now days employers can afford to be fussy. In the sector I'm interested in, you have to undertake low paid or even unpaid internships post graduation before you are likely to be considered seriously for a permanent job- many permanent jobs specify a minimum of one years experience and even the internships require previous experience, which I was fortunate enough to get.

    From an employers perspective, having a degree is just a tickbox, they want hard evidence you are capable in the workplace too. And having work experience makes you that standout candidate, rather than the mediocre one- employers get hundreds of applications for graduate vacancies in many sectors.

    I've no knowledge of the engineering sector, but I suggest you post in the engineering sub forum on here and see if there are any current or graduate students with jobs/placements on there who might be able to help.
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    (Original post by jelly1000)
    I do understand your frustrations, many were sold the myth that a university degree on its own would be enough. But with so many graduates now days employers can afford to be fussy. In the sector I'm interested in, you have to undertake low paid or even unpaid internships post graduation before you are likely to be considered seriously for a permanent job- many permanent jobs specify a minimum of one years experience and even the internships require previous experience, which I was fortunate enough to get.

    From an employers perspective, having a degree is just a tickbox, they want hard evidence you are capable in the workplace too. And having work experience makes you that standout candidate, rather than the mediocre one- employers get hundreds of applications for graduate vacancies in many sectors.

    I've no knowledge of the engineering sector, but I suggest you post in the engineering sub forum on here and see if there are any current or graduate students with jobs/placements on there who might be able to help.
    In a lot of cases it isn't even a tickbox.
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    (Original post by Lime-man)
    In a lot of cases it isn't even a tickbox.
    What do you mean?
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    (Original post by jelly1000)
    What do you mean?
    So many people have degrees nowadays, and unless you're going into a specialised industry or it's a decent degree, it can be meaningless to a lot of employers.
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    (Original post by Lime-man)
    So many people have degrees nowadays, and unless you're going into a specialised industry or it's a decent degree, it can be meaningless to a lot of employers.
    There are still plenty of employers demanding a degree, but alongside real world experience.
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    (Original post by jelly1000)
    There are still plenty of employers demanding a degree, but alongside real world experience.
    And there are plenty of employers that won't mind if the candidate has a degree as long as there is sufficient experience.
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    (Original post by Lime-man)
    And there are plenty of employers that won't mind if the candidate has a degree as long as there is sufficient experience.
    True someone with an apprenticeship would most likely have the equivalent experience.
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    (Original post by Lime-man)
    So many people have degrees nowadays, and unless you're going into a specialised industry or it's a decent degree, it can be meaningless to a lot of employers.
    This is nonsense, as much can be verified from those on here who have been in the corporate world long term
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    (Original post by leavingthecity)
    This is nonsense, as much can be verified from those on here who have been in the corporate world long term
    What percentage of graduates are in the corporate sector? And those that are, how many have a degree from the university of Wolverhampton?
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    (Original post by Lime-man)
    What percentage of graduates are in the corporate sector? And those that are, how many have a degree from the university of Wolverhampton?
    No idea, but most people in my sector; financial markets, are graduates at least. Not having a degree is a major barrier in most cases, especially the front office roles. For example, you cannot work on Barclays trading floor without one...it's their rules. Traders who had made it there were sent to the back office in some cases! Terrible.

    With some sleuthing you could find the stats you are looking for. DO NOT DO THIS. It's likely a waste of time and inaccurate. What is more important is the subject you studied and your work experience and connections. Having a uni on your CV gets you through the HR software filters.
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    I should add that I am going to uni this year at 25... Had some success but found the glass ceiling on at least one occasion! It's there!
 
 
 
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