Third of UK graduates overqualified for their job

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Almost a third of graduates are overqualified for their job, with students of the arts, biology and humanities the most likely to be overeducated, according to official figures.

Data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that 31% of graduates had more education than was required for the work they were doing in 2017. That included 22% of those who graduated before 1992 and 34% of those who graduated in 2007 or later.

London had the highest proportion of overeducated workers in the UK, with 25% overqualified for their job. This was partly due to the relatively high proportion of migrant workers, who are typically overeducated, according to the ONS.

Dr Maja Savic, an ONS economist, said: “While overeducation is more prevalent in recent graduates, it is also common for those who left university some time ago. Our findings show that people who studied arts, biology and humanities are the most likely to be overeducated.”

Overall, around 16% of all those aged 16 to 64 in employment in 2017 – graduates and non-graduates – had a greater amount of education than required for their job.

The ONS report said: “The relatively high incidence of overeducation for the 35 to 49 years age group indicates that overeducation is a persistent phenomenon in the UK labour market.”

Despite concerns about a lack of graduate jobs, figures published this monthshowed that the “graduate premium” in wages still exists, with graduates in England earning about £10,000 more on average than non-graduates, as in previous years.

According to Department for Education (DfE) graduate labour market statistics, graduates of all ages up to 64 were paid a median salary of £34,000 while non-graduates were paid £24,000.

The DfE figures pointed to the continuing struggle faced by young graduates, especially women, since the global financial crisis 10 years ago. While employment rates were higher than in previous years for both men and women, male graduates and the occupations they chose had benefited more from the slow recovery in pay.

Source: The Guardian