Job prospects fear as boys shun university

“Men face a struggle for good jobs in future as growing numbers of teenage boys shun university, Government officials have warned. Ministers are becoming increasingly concerned at the widening gender gap in higher education, after 22,500 more young women than men won university places last year”.


But is this necessarily all gloom, perhaps young men are being the sensible ones. Too many young people spend thousands on gaining a degree, only to find that they don’t get a “graduate job” and find work in a call centre or similar which they could have gone into 3 years earlier. Much better to be more sensible at get a job at eighteen, and learn as you earn. The cost of a degree may mean that people are more careful in thinking this decision through – what do they want to do for the future, what is the best route and to balance the benefits of going to university against other options.

A degree will always be a good choice for the brightest students but for some, on the job learning may be preferable, or to study later once they are clear on what they do want.   Young people may also choose a more practical job – plumber or other tradesperson for which a degree would be a positive disadvantage.  I worked with a graduate recently who gained a degree to meet parental expectations but always wanted to be an electrician. A year after university she was clear electrician was the job she wanted and found out that at 23 she was too old for an apprenticeship and no one wanted to know.  

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