21,2% of graduates overqualified for their jobs

Nieuws | de redactie
13 februari 2012 | “More than one in five university graduates is overqualified for their job,” a recent report by Eurydice states. On average, it takes a European graduate 5 months to find employment. In UK and Italy fewer managers have an advanced degree, while women catch up in the gender gap.

The EU agency Eurydice published “Key data on Education inEurope 2012”, a joint research with Eurostat. Their findingsindicate that “tertiary education graduates integrate into the jobmarket two times more quickly than people with lowerqualifications. On average, it takes 5 months for tertiaryeducation graduates to enter the job market, as opposed to 9,8months for people with lower attainment levels.”

In this context, Dutch university graduates fare quite well. Onaverage, it takes them only 3 months to find a job aftergraduation. Countries that have suffered particularly from the EUdebt crisis show a mixed picture: In Greece (12,2 months), Italy(9,8 months) and Spain (7 months) graduates stay unemployed longerwhile Portugal (4,7) and Ireland (4,1) perform better than the EUaverage.

Over-qualified graduates, under-qualifiedmanagers

Overall, higher education is on the rise. Ever since 2000, theshare of young European citizens holding higher education degreeshas increased significantly to over 30%. Nevertheless, Eurydicealso states that “more than one in five tertiary graduates isover-qualified for their job.”

Jobs usually involving higher qualifications are professionalsand managers, technicians and associate professionals, as opposedto clerks, service and skilled agriculture workers, craft workers,machine operators and elementary occupations.

While universities graduates are often overqualified for theirjobs, the share of managers and professionals with advanced degreeshas declined within the last years. “The decrease is particularlyevident in Italy, and the United Kingdom, where respectively 8 %and 16 % less tertiary graduates are currently employed in thehighest skilled professions.” Overall, around 50% of the peopleemployed in these professions have a university degree.

For women, Eurydice has some positive news. It is true that”women remain, on average, more likely to be unemployed than menwith the same level of education. However, the differential betweenthe genders with respect employment levels has reducedsignificantly from an average of 1.5 % in 2007 to a current averageof around 0.3 %, across all education levels.”


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