Higher education is an effective means of both obtaining an employment and learning the basic prerequisite skills for the global workplace.
1. Requirement set by employers during recruiting.
2. Comparison of significant skills outlined by employers and students.
3. Salary advantages, which are offered by the university degree.
4. Overall benefits provided by universities.
The fact that higher education is quite effective in obtaining employment and providing basic skills, which are necessary for the global workplace, is under the analysis in the present paper. Atfield and Purcell (2012) state that despite the fact that graduate recruiters in general have positive impression of graduates, only fifty-five per cent of employers are satisfied with the occupational and technical knowledge and skills of graduates, who apply for a job.
Recruiters claim that applicants lack for business awareness, capacity for self-management and can be characterized in terms of skills shortages in STEM subject areas. Apart from it, the majority of employers argue that there is a short supply of the so called “employability skills” in team working and IT.
As a result of the above-mentioned lacking skills, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and Universities UK (UUK) stressed the significance of developing the employability skills. At the same time the Dearing Report (NCIHE 1997) identified numeracy, IT and communication skills as the most relevant ones during lifetime.
The Department for Education and Employment (DfEE) produced a list of additional skills, which apart from communication skills, ability to work with other and basic IT skills, included dedication and commitment, self-motivation, basic literacy and numeracy, as well as ability to organise one’s work.
As far as the essential skills, which are considered by students to be sought in recruits, are concerned, it is possible to make a conclusion that students have a very similar list of skills, which are significant for employment, to the one presented by employers . The list includes the above-mentioned ‘employability’ skills such as communication skills, work ethic and ability to work in a team.
At the same time, very few respondents chose computer literacy, knowledge and analytic ability as relevant for employers. However, it is necessary to stress that numeracy and enterprise skills are chosen by the respondents as least significant. It justifies a wide-spread belief of employers that graduates lack these competencies (Atfield & Purcell 2012).
Thus, skills, which are outlined by universities, are the key ones and correspond to the main expectation of employers. Moreover, the fact that students choose the competencies and skills, which are required by their potential employers, justifies the assumption that university education provides an indispensable basis for the future successful employment.
University education is said to provide all the necessary skills and qualification for getting a highly paid job. This can be a reason for a significant increase in the number of those, who would like to get a higher education.
At the same time it is necessary to point out that there has been an increasing demand for skilled workers. Consequently, despite the fact that the average value of a degree remains high, the type of qualification and subjects of proficiency, such as accountancy and engineering, are more valuable for employers (Vignoles 2008).
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Moreover, some graduates have to face a substantially lower salary than they expected. First of all, it concerns graduates with arts diplomas. It is connected with the fact that employers take into account the skills and relevant abilities of graduates, while making decision about employment (Vignoles 2008).
Taking into consideration the above-mentioned facts, one can conclude that despite the fact that there is a growing tendency towards a higher demand for skilled workers and certain shortage of highly-paid positions, university degree serves as a good ground for obtaining high salary.
Consequently, university degrees offer a person significant benefits over those who have just A-level. According to Shaheen (2011), a person with a university degree earns more to a considerable degree than that without one. Thus, is crucial to highlight that this uplift is being gradually accumulated in the course of a lifetime.
Additionally, Shaheen (2011) draws the reader’s attention to the fact that university education brings both financial and economic benefits to society in general. It is expressed through a higher economic growth, great political interest, better health and higher interpersonal trust in the society.
Apart from this, universities contribute towards the social development by providing cultural facilities, which have a positive effect on citizenship, social mobility, community cohesion and health. The impact of university degrees on the overall economic and social situation in a country can hardly be overestimated.