Graduates who spent the Covid-19 pandemic stacking shelves or driving Amazon delivery vans are “more employable” than those who continued in education, a study has revealed.
The Early Careers Survey 2021 warned students that a master’s degree, without work experience, “won’t help them land a graduate job”.
It comes after news that one in four students spent an average of £8,666 on a postgraduate qualification last year.
“Driving an Amazon van would make you far more employable than spending the past year doing a master’s”, Institute of Student Employers (ISE) chief executive Stephen Isherwood told The Guardian.
“Work experience is a far better predictor of graduates’ skills than a postgraduate degree.”
ISE research earlier this year showed just 15 per cent of employers believed master’s students were more skilled than other graduates.
“Even working in a coffee shop or in a supermarket is an invaluable, real-life experience,” SAP Software Solutions chief executive Lindsey Rowe told the newspaper.
“Learning how to deal with cross, demanding customers might seem like nothing to the young person, but it’s an incredibly useful indicator for employers that they’ve developed real-world resilience.”
Potential hires need to develop “business etiquette” and “resilience” outside of university, she added.
ONS statistics show the number of out-of-work graduates more than doubled to 12 per cent in summer last year as students completed their degrees.
The national unemployment rate stands at 5.1 per cent.