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What’s employment like after graduation and uni?

Is it as depressing as alevels and uni? Do employers really care what uni you went to? Is there still a huge pressure on getting good grades but equivalent to your performance in your job?
Original post by CANUFEELMYHEART
Is it as depressing as alevels and uni? Do employers really care what uni you went to? Is there still a huge pressure on getting good grades but equivalent to your performance in your job?

I think all of that that very much depends what sector/profession you work in and even then it varies from employer to employer (especially in realtion to your question about caring about which university you go to) and person to person.

My personal experience (now that I have secured my immediate career progression) is that there is less pressure to feel like you're constantly meeting the next benchmark. There are, of course, basic expectations and targets to be met but it's more of a case of taking things slow but steady. My career is going to last around 40 years so when you put it that way it is makes it easier to not put so much pressure on yourself.

I didn't really find A Levels or university 'depressing' per se, so I find it difficult to comment on that aspect.
Original post by CatusStarbright
I think all of that that very much depends what sector/profession you work in and even then it varies from employer to employer (especially in realtion to your question about caring about which university you go to) and person to person.

My personal experience (now that I have secured my immediate career progression) is that there is less pressure to feel like you're constantly meeting the next benchmark. There are, of course, basic expectations and targets to be met but it's more of a case of taking things slow but steady. My career is going to last around 40 years so when you put it that way it is makes it easier to not put so much pressure on yourself.

I didn't really find A Levels or university 'depressing' per se, so I find it difficult to comment on that aspect.

did you enjoy a levels orrr
A Levels are awesome.
Original post by Flying_Cashew6
A Levels are awesome.


am i doing a levels wrong
Original post by lollapoalso
did you enjoy a levels orrr

The AS year (year 12) was pretty good; I found it reasonably chilled and had a decent friendship group. I also enjoyed studying just four subjects and really thrived on the autonomy my college gave us (we were only required to be on-site for lessons and could come and go as we pleased).

A Level year (year 13), on the other hand, was really pressurised. I spent a lot less time relaxing and had to contend with university applications and an interview, along with the constant pressure of meeting my eventual university offer. I kept a Grow Your Grades blog that year and the stress certainly shows: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=4394884
It is very tough for uni graduates these days. Some students do get lucky and do internships and then get offered permanent roles after, but that's not the case for a lot of people. It is incredibly tough competition and it is important for you to have high self-esteem and lots of confidence throughout the recruitment process and to have a good ability to pass interviews and psychometric tests. I am a graduate myself and I am warning you that competition is tough. Do not expect to finish uni and walk into a job, because employers don't give a crap about which uni you went to. All they want is to see your transferable skills, so for example, being a good team player, working well under pressure, being organised and someone who takes initiative.

And there are thousands of graduates who are searching for jobs. It doesn't matter if you apply for a small company, a medium-sized company or a large company. Every single job role that I have looked at had at least 30 other applicants. Some roles have 50, 100 or even 200 people applying for the same role! That's insane. It's very very hard to stand out and there's no guarantee that you'll beat the competition, so to answer your question, yes it is very depressing because you start to understand that you are almost insignificant to these recruiters if they have so many candidates.
(edited 1 year ago)
Reply 7
Original post by username6445667
It is very tough for uni graduates these days.

As opposed to when?

It's way easier than the 2009 cohort had it for example.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by Quady
As opposed to when?

It's way easier than the 2009 cohort had it for example.

It's tougher than EVER. There is something called 'grade inflation' these days. Grade inflation didn't used to be as bad as it is now. Literally, almost everyone these days gets a first class or a second upper class degree in some subject. This toughens the competition because you have more people who are overachieving academy, so what happens is that you end up with lots of graduate who are all equally good and employers only take the 'exceptional', so they only take the ones that stand out, but how are you going to stand out if every single candidate is a genius for example. It's tough and you may feel like you can't win. It's also due to the fact that the number of graduates has increased over the years, so the combination of grade inflation and an increase in graduates has made the competition tougher than ever before. Decades ago, getting a 2:2 was generally seen as a good grade, however, today, most people view that as a fail because you have almost no chance of getting a grad job with a 2:2.
(edited 1 year ago)
Reply 9
Original post by username6038098
It's tougher than EVER. There is something called 'grade inflation' these days. Grade inflation didn't used to be as bad as it is now. Literally, almost everyone these days gets a first class or a second upper class degree in some subject. This toughens the competition because you have more people who are overachieving academy, so what happens is that you end up with lots of graduate who are all equally good and employers only take the 'exceptional', so they only take the ones that stand out, but how are you going to stand out if every single candidate is a genius for example. It's tough and you may feel like you can't win. It's also due to the fact that the number of graduates has increased over the years, so the combination of grade inflation and an increase in graduates has made the competition tougher than ever before. Decades ago, getting a 2:2 was generally seen as a good grade, however, today, most people view that as a fail because you have almost no chance of getting a grad job with a 2:2.


Three things:
- Firstly you say 'decades ago', perhaps you're right. I referred to 2009 when graduate jobs were culled and it had long since passed that 2.2 would get you through the auto filter.
- Secondly, along with grade inflation, grade requirements for grad jobs have tighted too. As above a 2.2 in 2009 wouldn't get one far.
- Thirdly, you ignore that graduate job intakes have trended upwards over time too.

Worth saying I wasn't in the 2009-2011 cohorts, but I saw the effect of not only the financial service shut up recruitment, but also the wider private sector and public sector contracted intakes significantly.
Original post by Quady
Three things:
- Firstly you say 'decades ago', perhaps you're right. I referred to 2009 when graduate jobs were culled and it had long since passed that 2.2 would get you through the auto filter.
- Secondly, along with grade inflation, grade requirements for grad jobs have tighted too. As above a 2.2 in 2009 wouldn't get one far.
- Thirdly, you ignore that graduate job intakes have trended upwards over time too.

Worth saying I wasn't in the 2009-2011 cohorts, but I saw the effect of not only the financial service shut up recruitment, but also the wider private sector and public sector contracted intakes significantly.

Yes, this is all true. I wasn't in those cohorts either but I nevertheless took the decision to enrol in 2010 owing to my own grim employment prospect, a decision made with some degree of risk given the way things had gone for my peers around the same time. All of which brings me neatly to the OP:

I worked for a long time before I got a degree. The jobs were physical, hard, and (for the most part) dull. Progression was possible in some areas, but I was working first as a concreter, then later as a yard hand on a dockside chemical plant. That was a shite job with no prospects, routinely dealing with nasty stuff that made you ill (H&S is still very poor in the chemical industry for the bottom rung staff).

ANY employment after that would have been preferable for me. I did OK and got into education, which I love and which I am good at. This side does depend on your expertise and your motivation to do extra stuff (i.e. stuff outside of your degree programme). Now I have a good job at an excellent university, I'm moonlighting at another teaching a wee bit, and I'm involved in research and actionable strategies to help 1st Gen and WP applicants (which i was myself). So the job thing can be very pleasant after graduation.
(edited 1 year ago)
Moved to careers
It's good so far. Can't have asked for a better grad cohort/intake at work and I find everything including the actual work stuff and social aspect much more engaging compared to university.
Original post by username6038098
It's tougher than EVER. There is something called 'grade inflation' these days. Grade inflation didn't used to be as bad as it is now. Literally, almost everyone these days gets a first class or a second upper class degree in some subject. This toughens the competition because you have more people who are overachieving academy, so what happens is that you end up with lots of graduate who are all equally good and employers only take the 'exceptional', so they only take the ones that stand out, but how are you going to stand out if every single candidate is a genius for example. It's tough and you may feel like you can't win. It's also due to the fact that the number of graduates has increased over the years, so the combination of grade inflation and an increase in graduates has made the competition tougher than ever before. Decades ago, getting a 2:2 was generally seen as a good grade, however, today, most people view that as a fail because you have almost no chance of getting a grad job with a 2:2.

It is worth noting that 80% of graduates gained a 2:1 or above in 2020.
Original post by CANUFEELMYHEART
Is it as depressing as alevels and uni? Do employers really care what uni you went to? Is there still a huge pressure on getting good grades but equivalent to your performance in your job?


Hi! I can completely understand your stress and concerns regarding the future and applying to jobs post grad, I was the same when I finished my degree. What I would say is the interest in the uni you went to from what I've seen has gone down, and while a good degree is still a strong boost. when you apply to roles you will very likely have to do some form of assessment tests, I'd recommend looking into them and for job wise keep an eye out for grad schemes, can be competitive to get into but you never know someone has to get one of their places!
Hope this helps :smile:

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