College Not Preparing Graduates For Workplace

05 Aug 2019 | 11.44 am

College Not Preparing Graduates For Workplace

Matrix Recruitment surveys Ireland’s graduates

05 Aug 2019 | 11.44 am

Almost half of Ireland’s graduates are in careers that are unrelated to their qualification, while three-quarters don’t believe college adequately prepared them for the working world, according to research by Irish company Matrix Recruitment.

The Matrix Recruitment Education Vs Experience Survey was conducted online in June 2019 among 545 professionals working across a broad range of industries.

It found that 73% of third-level graduates do not believe that their course sufficiently prepared them for the working world.

Some 31% said that their course was too theoretical, while four in ten stated that while it was helpful, it did not properly prepare them for the rigours and demands of a day-to-day job.

“This is a worrying finding, as it shows that there may be a disconnect between the knowledge and skills being acquired at third level and what is actually needed at a more practical level in the workplace,” said Joanne Foley (pictured), regional recruitment manager in Matrix Recruitment.

“Many of our survey respondents felt that third-level courses should cover things such as emotional intelligence, communication skills, organisational psychology and project and time management skills.”

The survey also suggests that when it came to securing their current job, 46% of respondents said that experience was more important than their qualification.

Only 13% of those who took part in the survey said that their qualification alone was instrumental in landing the role.

Other findings in the Matrix Recruitment survey show that 49% of those with a third-level qualification said that they wished they had chosen a different course. More than one in five (22%) would not recommend their course to someone looking to pursue a similar career.

According to Foley, there is a lot of movement within the jobs market, which helps explain the fact that many people are in jobs unrelated to their qualifications.

“However, when asked which was more important when it came to securing their current job, almost four times more respondents chose experience over a qualification, which was quite unexpected,” Foley added.

“This may be related to the stage these respondents have reached in their career as, generally speaking, the more years of experience you have under your belt, the less emphasis an employer places on your qualification.

“Of course, there are exceptions to this, such as pharmacy, medicine and teaching, but many of our clients looking for the best candidates interrogate a CV or LinkedIn profile for relevant experience before looking at a qualification.”

Foley advised that a combination of qualifications and experience is the best option for job candidates to have.

Matrix Recruitment also found that 54% of respondents to its survey would like to return to college to pursue another career. Reasons offered for this included wanting to try something new and revising career goals.

Established in 1998, Matrix Recruitment Group has offices in Dublin, Waterford, Carlow, Athlone and Galway.

 

(Pic: Matthew Reilly)

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