If Higher Education is the Future, Why Is It Still So Difficult to Find a Job

By , UniversityHerald Reporter

If Higher Education is the Future, Why Is It Still So Difficult to Find a Job

Photo : If Higher Education is the Future, Why Is It Still So Difficult to Find a Job

Talk to enough career people, and they will tell you that they gained a bunch of qualifications only to take up careers in something else. Some people put this down to the old saying, "We go to college to figure out what we don't want to do," and other people attribute it to people being wishy-washy about their careers, but the reasons why a qualified person still has a hard time getting a job are far more complex and diverse than that.

You Are Bad at Interviews

If you have been in long-term education or full-time education, or because you took a career break to pursue a different qualification with online courses, you will be lacking interview skills. Getting interview skills is similar to getting dating skills, except that you do not have the power of attraction to help you.

Just like dating, you are going to interview for jobs that are not suitable for you. Just like dating, you will say the wrong thing and mess it up. Also like dating, you will be asked questions where you think you are giving the right answer, only to learn years later that it was the wrong one. 

It is also a matter of expectations. You may expect that your qualifications and education are the biggest selling points you have to offer, but in many cases, you are dealing with veteran managers and HR staff. They have seen your qualifications over and over again, they are not impressed by them. 

What they want are staff members who work independently, who work well with others, who turn up on time, who do not cause trouble, and who are not going to start a social media campaign against them because the sign came off the disabled toilet's door. As you gain more interview experience, you will learn what employers want and will be able to alter your answers accordingly. 

Online resources can be extremely helpful in preparing you and helping you in the job market. You can find industry-specific advice, general coaching and job skills advice at

Competition is Far More Varied and Complex Than it First Appears

Your competitors are pretty diverse. The biggest competitors you have are people who are already working for the company you want to work for because employers are more likely to staff internally when it comes to jobs that require qualifications.

You are also up against people far older and more experienced than you are, and where you may be willing to take a lower wage than most experienced applicants, you have to remember that most people are in debt these days, which means they are willing to take a lower wage just so they have a job.

Do not forget that you are competing with the people who left education when you did. When you finished higher education, you and all your classmates, and all other people in your year around the country, all entered the job market. Every year, at around the same time, a batch of newly qualified people enter the job market and make it more difficult for those who are currently unemployed. 

Minimum Wage Laws Make Employment More Difficult

Going against the narrative and decrying high minimum wage laws, is a great way to get canceled these days. Yet, the economic fact is that companies are not willing to hire people, especially young and inexperienced people, for the same price as older and more experienced people. 

For example, in the USA, minimum wages rise as high as $15 per hour. For that wage, you can get experienced workers, so it makes no economic sense to hire younger people, even if they are correctly qualified. Even sadder, people are less inclined to hire disabled people and/or differently abled people because of the risk of added sick days on top of the already inflated wages. 

Final Thoughts - Sometimes You Are Shoot Out of Luck

There are times when you are simply unlucky, and finding a job becomes very difficult to almost impossible. During the final ebbing of Jim Carrey's career, before he lost touch with reality, he played in the movie "Fun with Dick and Jane" where he desperately searches for a job. The scenes where he unsuccessfully looks for a job are supposed to be funny, but in fact they are eerily close to real life for people living in big cities.

Sometimes, you are unlucky for a range of different reasons. The first ten you apply to may have already been filled, and the ones you interview for may have already been earmarked by staff who already work there. You may fail one interview, miss your bus for the next, and the next interview may have forgotten to mention that you need experience. Sometimes, circumstances and bad luck are the reasons you are unemployed, and the best you can do is to suffer through it and never stop trying.

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