Why Do Graduates Slide Into Non Graduate Occupations? Essay

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Since the introduction of undergraduate tuition fees in 1998, higher education in Britain has gradually become more of an investment than Newman’s (1996) theoretical “intellectual training” which aims at producing “gentlemen”. With monetary elements now blending in, people may embrace higher education out of the customary rationale that, the higher degree one earns, the higher salary he will obtain. However, ‘graduatisation’ of occupation, a current trend described as “[a phenomenon where] graduates are occupying more and more jobs that were once occupied by their non-graduate parents” (CIPD, 2016), has challenged the preconceived philosophy.

Responding to this new tendency, questions emerge: Why do graduates slide into non-graduate occupations? In what dimensions will the perceived devaluation of bachelor’s degrees influence higher education? To what extent will the skills mismatch affect job applicants? To answer these questions accordingly from an economic perspective, this essay will examine catalysts to this cascade in degree hierarchy in the first half, while the following part attempts to discuss the implications for higher education, as well as for graduates and non-graduates in their transition into the labour market.

Factors

Supply and demand imbalance between graduate applicants and the corresponding positions explains the over-qualification and under-utilization simultaneously happening to 50% UK graduates (Holmes & Mayhew, 2015) in the labour market.

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