Developing key skills for work
According to a study of the graduate labour market carried out by the University of Warwick and the Higher Education Careers Service Unit (HECSU), individuals with first-class degrees are almost half as likely to suffer unemployment than those with lower classifications. This suggests businesses are assuming that candidates with the highest qualifications will be better suited to the position. But this isn’t always the case. It may be that a graduate who has spent much of their university life studying in order to achieve a first, hasn’t had the time to undertake extra-curricular activities and develop key skills needed in the workplace.
As academics have recently highlighted, a single degree classification reveals very little about a candidate’s suitability for a particular role. It cannot do justice to the range of skills, knowledge and experience gained, which is why there were calls for the Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR) to be introduced towards the end of last year. The idea was that a report card would be given to each student after they graduate, providing much more detail of their overall achievements, including a breakdown of marks for each unit, information of volunteering work, and a summary of any positions held in a sports team.