Since The Massification Of Higher Education In The 1970S,

Decent Essays
Since the massification of higher education in the 1970s, figure shows that the participation rate in higher education in the UK has reached over 48% in 2015, i.e., around two million students will hold graduate degrees embarking onto the labour market in two years. Subsequently, queries may emerge: is the market capable of absorbing so many graduates? Will there be enough suitable jobs matching the skills these graduates possess? With what occupations do the graduate reside?

In response, a recent report (CIPD, 2016) finds that some jobs once occupied by non-graduates are now held by an increasing number of graduates. As is described by economists in higher education and social science fields, this phenomenon is ‘graduatisation’ of
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Based on the statistics from the Labour Force Survey, back in 1979, only 1.6% of police officers were graduates, while this figure reached 34.1% in 2014. Similarly, 14.6% of the human resources officers owned bachelor degrees forty years ago, while in 2014, over half of the HR officers acquired graduate degrees. Gradually, the shared prerequisite for these two jobs nowadays is a graduate degree, regardless of the mismatch between the graduate skills and the job demand (Hartog & Oosterbeek, 1988; Brynin, 2002; Büchel & van Ham, 2003; Chevalier & Lindley, 2009; Green & Zhu, 2011). Through these two examples, it is manifest how significant contribution increasing participation of graduates makes to the ‘graduatisation’ of certain occupations. Why do some graduates choose the occupations disproportionate to their skills?

The economic term, cost, reflects the loss and gain behind every choice and behavior. In other words, among several alternatives, if one is chosen, the following advantages are gained as well as the disadvantages; meanwhile, the inherent virtues of other choices are discarded alongside the options per se (Buchanan, 1999). In economics, every man is regarded as selfish, who only concentrates on his own good (Smith, 1969: 82). To maximize one’s good, cost is a fundamental factor when making a choice. Graduates are no exception.

Since the
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