An examination of the importance of going onto higher education and the impact that has on employability?

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BP2280 Public Policy, Evidence and Research         828882

Project Title: An examination of the importance of going onto higher education and the impact that has on employability?

Research Question: To what extent does attending university have an effect on the graduate’s employability?

  I am going to explore to what extent does attending university (higher education) have an impact on the graduate’s employability. There are three sub research questions I will be focusing on. Firstly, I will be analysing the benefits and problems there are of going onto university in the hope of increasing employability. In order, to do this I will be identifying the relevant corpus of academic and policy related literature and documentation concerning university and employability. The reason for this is that it is vital to realise that it’s still important to assess existing knowledge that’s associated with education and compare it with my research. Secondly, I will be focusing on to what extent has investing in a degree and other financial costs such as accommodation for example with going onto university has achieved the desired outcome for degree graduates. To find out this information, I will be looking at degree graduates, and how they believe their employability has affected their employability. Finally, I will be looking at how 18 years not going onto HE, to what extent has that helped their desired outcome.

  I am now going to briefly explain the structure of my report. I will now provide a critical literature review analysing policy documents and academic literature and review what others have done. This will show how my research fits in with what others have done about my subject. This is my first research objective as I’ve mentioned earlier. I will then explain my research project and methodology used to gather and analyse data. After, I have decided my methodological approach; I will then report my research results.  I will undertake a critical analysis of public perceptions and carry out a small study, and provide evidence in my appendix to verify my research results. I will then discuss my findings in a critical manner and relate my results back to the literature material.

  In my ethical form under proposed methodology, I mentioned that I would find out information by not only questionnaires and face-to-face interviews, but also surveys. I have decided not to do surveys and face-to-face interviews the reason being is that it is very difficult to access surveys associated to my area of study. Moreover, the time and money spent on getting this information would hinder time being spent on my study. Therefore, as a result I have decided to exclude the use of surveys in my research. I am not doing face-to-face interviews because of the availability of time for other students to be available to answer questions. In order, to resolve this problem I am going to add open-ended questions in my questionnaire to get insight.

  Progressing onto university (higher education) can greatly enhance wherever you want to go in the future. The reason for this is, that it illustrates to employers the ability to acquire information in a specialised subject. (Directgov. 2005. ‘ The benefits of higher education’ [online] Available from  [Accessed 3 Jan 2007]) Therefore, this stands to reason graduates coming out of university and entering employment will have higher earning potential to those who don’t go on to higher education. However, in a report in the telegraph it stated that a third of university graduates are in jobs that do not require a degree in 2004-05. This brings out the question; does it really enhance career prospects? In the same article, Boris Johnson says about a degree. ‘It is a wonderful thing to have irrespective of the kind of job you are doing.’ I am very critical of this statement because the main reason of going into higher education is to enhance your career. What is the point of attaining a degree, if it doesn’t? (Smith. H  {25th July 2006} ‘Third of graduates in non-graduate jobs’ Telegraph [online] Available from

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[Accessed 17th December 2006])

  Is it right from degree graduates to find difficulty in finding graduate jobs and fall into ‘non-graduate jobs’? In which they could of entered prior going to university and without the associated financial costs? I aim to find out the value of a degree in the economic market and whether it is actually worth it considering the New Labour’s target of 50% for 18-25 year olds to enter HE. The more graduates flooding the market, the less graduate jobs would be available? There are contrasting views of going into higher education. The article written by Directgov ...

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