From education to employment

Three Truths that Universities Find Highly Inconvenient

students sat on steps with books and laptops


  1. A degree, even a first, isn’t an automatic open sesame into a graduate-level job. There are over 200 applicants for every opening.
  2. Only one in four graduates ever land a graduate-level job.
  3. Those graduates who do land a graduate-level job have spent an average of 21 months languishing in the jobs market.

All that hard work, all those tuition fees and what do graduates end up having to show for it? For three-quarters of them, it’s nothing. Why? The answer is simple. Because universities teach every subject under the sun except one: how to get a job.

In this post, we explain why it is so difficult for graduates to get a job despite having a degree, why the job market is so crowded, and what you can do to make yourself stand out to employers and increase your chances of getting a great graduate job.

A Degree Does Not Guarantee a Graduate Job

While getting a degree is an impressive achievement, it does not guarantee you a job. Having a degree is a sign of competence that employers will appreciate, it is not a substitute for experience in a working environment, which is what all employers prioritise. 

Instead, employers look for candidates who have displayed key employability skills, such as problem-solving, teamwork and resilience. While some may have acquired some of these skills during their time at university, they are not explicitly taught there, as universities prefer to teach what is required to get a degree rather than everything a graduate would need to know to maximise their chances of employment. 

Most graduates also have no idea as to what careers will suit them best with no idea about how to structure and what to include in a CV and cover letter. And we have never met a graduate yet who knew that their CV will be scanned by an algorithm as a first step. That’s why most grads never receive a reply to their applications!

Graduate Jobs are Very Competitive

Even graduates who do have workplace experience can find it challenging to get a job due to the sheer number of people applying for graduate positions. Roughly 800,000 people graduate each year and need to find a job but there are a limited number of job vacancies. 

This does not include graduates from the year before who still haven’t found a job. It is therefore no surprise that some companies receive over 650 applications for their graduate schemes. 

This is broken down by the infographic above, which also highlights that there are only around 15,000 jobs available each month and on average 193 applications for each position, with this potentially rising even higher for top employers. 

With recruiters having to go through this many applications, graduates have to write a CV that stands out within seconds, something universities do not adequately prepare them for. 

Career coaching, such as the coaching offered by Graduate Coach is one solution to this problem. We have coached thousands of grads on how to write standout CVs and cover letters and teach key employability skills that will make you far more employable to recruiters.  

So we find ourselves busier than we have ever been, but our coaching process honed over the last thirteen years works. As our reviews attest hyperlink.


While getting a degree is impressive, it is not enough on its own to secure a job after graduating. Universities simply do not put enough effort into educating their students about things such as CVs and employability skills that are crucial for getting a graduate job.

This is especially problematic with the job market becoming so crowded, with new graduates not only competing with other new graduates, but also graduates from years before who have still not found a graduate job. This makes it almost impossible to stand out. 

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