The percentage of young adults learning in institutions of higher education in both Wales and England has dramatically increased over the years. In fact, comparing the 2004/05 figures to those of the 1960s, this percentage has increased by almost seven times. The increase in the number of young people pursuing higher education has been simulated in several parts of the world. For instance, in Australia, students’ population enrolling in institutions of higher education has significantly increased by more than fifty percent between the years 1996 and 2005.
although there are several factors influencing the increase in the number of young people opting to pursue higher education, the main factor that has been attributed to the increasing figures is the relationship between future careers of the young people and the degrees being studied at the colleges (Brooks, Rachel and Glyn Everett, para 2). Significance of degree to one’s career It is generally acknowledged that most of the world’s economies in particular the western ones, are increasingly becoming based more on communication, information and knowledge and not on other factors such as physical production.
This has indeed led to the coining of the knowledge economy term. If nations are to participate effectively in the world’s economy that is largely driven by knowledge, they have to continuously develop a workforce that is highly educated. Such a workforce is in fact perceived as a crucial component for prosperity in the future. As a result corporations have over the years placed more emphasis on hiring people with the right knowledge and information. A great percentage of such skills are obtained from the institutions of higher learning.
Since the virtually all the young adults are seeking to be employed in these organizations in future, they have no alternative but to seek higher education (Gedye, Sharon, Elizabeth Fender and Brian Chalkley, para 4). The workplace of the modern world is also increasingly becoming subject to several changes. On the part of the labour force, this basically means higher propensity of making many turns in one’s career as well as making many career adjustments.
In virtually all professions, it is generally anticipated that the job’s nature will undergo major changes. In order to fight effectively for various employment opportunities in a labour market that is highly dynamic, graduates have to be well equipped with flexibility, skills, adaptability, intellect and knowledge. Lasting learning skills have become very significant in careers because graduates of the current century do not anticipate for careers or jobs which are static.
These competencies responsible for determining one’s ability to pursue a career in the 21st century are mainly obtained from the institutions of higher learning, therefore explaining the importance of the degrees in one’s future career opportunities (Gedye, Sharon, Elizabeth Fender and Brian Chalkley, para 4). In most cases, the first degree is the minimum level of qualification needed for someone to get into a good employment and career.
Even though some of the major requirements of several careers are not offered by the institutions of higher learning, it is difficult for an individual to get into an organisation and serve in a certain position without the basic academic requirement, the first degree. Depending on the organisation, the young graduates are then expected to learn certain competencies within the organisation that will assist them working productively in the organisation.
All the competencies acquired due to working in a certain organisation are only expected to add weight to the knowledge and skills possessed by the employee because of having acquired a degree from the institutions of higher learning (Brooks, Rachel and Glyn Everett, para 10). The growth in part time and temporal forms of employment among young graduates can be well explained by behavioural alterations and not any structural shifts in either demand or supply. These forms of jobs may be brought about by certain deliberate graduates’ choices.
Such options arise either because such jobs are perceived to be suitable investment opportunities or due to the fact that they represent increased levels of flexibility and freedom to the young graduates. Therefore, what may be viewed as a trap of career for the low level employees is capable of presenting something quite different for the graduates who are more educated. Pursuing higher education is thus perceived by the young people as a great chance of having a successful and a fulfilling career in a high ranking organisation.
The young people also perceive acquiring degrees as a great opportunity of having careers that are flexible and well paying. Higher education is therefore very important while struggling to work in a certain field. Without, this form of education, it is almost impossible for the young people to convince employers that they are capable of working productively in their organisations (Brooks, Rachel and Glyn Everett, para 16).
Higher education with the United Kingdom and other places across the world has an increasing responsibility inclined towards prospects of employment for the graduates, as this class of individuals start acting as customers. Due to the high costs incurred by students as well as their families in acquiring higher education, students seek pursuing courses that will eventually lead them to high paying careers. One’s career has a great significance on an individual’s social status. Most of the careers bringing such effects can only be acquired through studying certain courses in institutions of higher learning.
There is therefore a great connection between the degrees students are pursuing at the universities and the careers they will pursue later in life (Gedye, Sharon, Elizabeth Fender and Brian Chalkley, para 6). In several governments such as that of United Kingdom, there is significant emphasis on creation of employment opportunities based on priorities of higher education qualifications. Institutions of higher learning are expected to improve, monitor and evaluate their guidance, careers, education and information in ways indicating high performance and quality.
In fact, in UK, starting from the year 2000, these institutions are required to provide data concerning employment of the students who have recently graduated from such institutions. Such data is then used in monitoring the relevance of the degrees offered in these institutions and the qualifications needed by the labour market. This is due to the fact that it is expected that once the students pursue higher education, they should be absorbed by the labour market because they have the right qualifications.
Therefore, if this is not the case, it is deemed that these institutions are not playing their role effectively (Gedye, Sharon, Elizabeth Fender and Brian Chalkley, para 8). According to the study that was carried out by Gedye, Sharon, Elizabeth Fender and Brian Chalkley, para 20, in which they sought to know why most graduates and undergraduates seek higher learning, it is evident that they have career as the main driving force. Most of the graduate and undergraduate respondents who were interviewed by these researchers said that they pursue their degrees in order to improve their career and job prospects.
According to these students, employers look for young graduates who have pursued certain degrees in institutions of higher learning and thus they have to obtain the minimum academic requirements from these institutions in order to secure a good job or career in future. Degrees are therefore very important for students as they seek for ways of improving their careers in future. The students are aware that most of the competencies and skills searched by employers cannot be obtained through the formal education.
However, they know that the skills and competencies obtained from the institutions of higher learning provide a sound base upon which the skills and competencies needed by employers can be developed. Conclusion Higher education remains the single most significant component of career improvement. It is for this reason enrolment of young people into these institutions has increased considerably over the years. Higher education provides students with the needed skills and competencies of pursuing their dream careers.
The modern workplaces demand employees to be highly competent, productive and dynamic. These are skills that are much emphasised in the institutions of higher education. As a result, employers have a very high propensity of employing graduates as opposed to hiring individuals who have not attained the minimum basic requirements for good employment opportunities. The nature of today’s job opportunities is highly flexible and dynamic, since most graduates posses these abilities, they are able to fit well in today’s workplaces.
Courtney from Study Moose
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