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1 in 10 employers say degrees are ëpointlessí, whilst 3 in 5 choose experience over qualifications

A study by the UKís only student-employer matchmaking site has found that 61% of recruiting businesses value experience in the industry over qualification, whilst 8% say degrees are ëpointlessí given the number of people graduating with similar grades

A study by the UK’s only student-employer matchmaking site has found that 61% of recruiting businesses value experience in the industry over qualification, whilst 8% say degrees are ‘pointless’ given the number of people graduating with similar grades.


The UK’s only student-employer matchmaking site www.studentgems.com <http://www.studentgems.com/> , conducted a study of 1,561 Managing Directors across the UK. The results show that 61% of recruiters are more likely to hire an applicant based on relevant experience over a degree or other qualifications.


With over 3 million people currently studying for degrees in the UK; studentgems.com estimate that nearly half will struggle to find themselves a job relevant to their chosen career path. 41% of employers said they valued vocational qualifications more than degrees, whilst 8% said that they thought degrees were ‘pointless’ given how many students graduate with similar grades.


1 in 5, 19%, of the employers asked said they would hire an applicant with 2 years experience yet no qualifications over another applicant with no experience but a degree with honours. Of those employers, 11% said qualifications bore little importance in their short listing process. 


The results highlighted 5 specific industries that value experience over qualifications:



  1. Sales – 72% admitted they preferred relevant experience over qualifications

  2. Catering – 70%

  3. Graphic design – 69%

  4. Photography – 67%

  5. Carework – 64%


The study shows that just 23% of employers would not consider somebody for a role without qualifications.


Commenting on the results, Sue Harrison, co-founder of studentgems.com has said:


“With the current economic climate, job vacancies are receiving large amounts of interest and it is becoming more and more competitive - a reason many graduates are struggling to find jobs relevant to their degrees.


She continues:


“One of the core aims of our site is to put those in education in front of employers, to encourage students to seek out relevant part time work rather than retail or bar work. We recommend students spend time on preparing their CV’s and put great care into improving their experience in their chosen study field in order to make them as employable as possible.”