Monday, February 18News For London

Sluggish job market: Where do media graduates stand?

Photo by: Surbhi Lal

Education has become of utmost importance globally and continues to grow. This is evident in the UK as the number of recent graduates have increased from 22% in 2002 to 40% in 2017. However, the number of entry level jobs is not rising at the same pace.

As of March 2018, information and communication jobs are less than half in comparison to wholesale and retail trade jobs. Considering London’s significance as a media hub, it is startling that half of its population is comprised of graduates yet it has the highest unemployment rate in the UK.

Abby and Holly, employees of a talent agency in advertising, shed some light on the matter. We asked them if they would prefer much younger and fresher faces in media instead of the older, accomplished presenters, Holly said: “I would probably prefer the young ones just because it would spike my interest in news,” whereas Abby was quick to retort and said that: “Sometimes in a way it is nice because it is someone who you trust but then there is also the contrast between trustworthy and interesting.”

However, in terms of the increasing involvement of digital media in every field, Holly said: “We would trust the younger individuals because they are more socially aware.”

When asked about her perspective on why young graduates face difficulties finding a job, Abby said: “Especially postgraduates from uni find it really hard because somebody else who has a lot of experience going in might look better for the company than inexperienced graduates.”

Bryce, a University of Westminster student from Pennsylvania, has a different viewpoint regarding the value of work experience. He stated: “In the US, colleges require you to take up internships in order to gain experience. I think it’s stupid here that at an entry-level job, they want you with experience but they won’t hire you to give you that experience.” In relation to this, Bryce suggested that young graduates should take up enough internships or work experience because a lot of companies are seeking the same.

Bryce, student at University of Westminster (Photo by: Alicia Phanwar)

Another pressing issue for graduates, according to him, is the presence of “older people” in workplaces. Speaking about his own office, he said: “It is hard to talk to people as they are set on their old ways.” Lastly, like Abby and Holly, Bryce agreed that when it comes to emerging media, “Young people would be better candidates because they grew up with technology.”