How did the graduate job market become so screwed up?

Ask around at Universities around the world what would you like to be when you graduate and you will hear a broad range of exciting and impressive sounding professions that all justify the towering tuition fees that present day Universities charge their students. From high rise Lawyer to Record Producer, from Ecologist to Marine Biologist. One word that you wont hear very often is ‘sales’. You don’t grow up wanting to work long hours in a call centre or living on the poverty line because your commision has dried up. So, it’s a real pity that so many graduate roles are sales based. Often, these jobs are based in chicken coupe style call centres hyped with deceptive job descriptions such as ‘meritocratic environments’ and ‘generous commission structure’. The truth is that these generic job positions are where many graduates end up. Living in rented accommodation in big cities with an expensive cost of living. This carries the huge risk of being trapped in a job people hate to simply maintain paying the bills. With such a lack of positions in other industries, it becomes a potential real life spoiler for so many out there today.

How many graduate jobs in the sales sector?
At the time of writing, on, one of the largest graduate job boards in the UK, there were a whopping 245 vacancies in sales and 139 vacancies in recruitment. Many more positions than other vacancies.

So why is the recruitment job market like this? Why is it so difficult to find a graduate career position outside of the sales sector and who is to blame for the sales ratrace that the modern job climate has become? Do we blame the Universities? Ironically, it could be seen as their success in selling their courses has flooded employers with graduates and made competition for specialist positions even harder (sales creating more sales jobs). You could also blame the NHS and long life for the issue, as Millennials struggle to find positions as people are living longer and retiring later thus not making way for the next generation. Or if you prefer a political angle, you could blame capitalism. After all, there are so many sales positions because selling things make money and money pays wages. Is the world better when people are persuaded to buy things they otherwise wouldn’t? Like all the conjecture here I guess that’s a matter of personal opinion.

So what is to take home from this screwed up situation graduates are in? Should graduates just lie down and do jobs they hate until better positions come available? Should future students both going to University or even bother looking for employment after such a sceptical look at the situation? Who knows. But maybe, it’s about time we acknowledged the difficulties many young people are currently under with sky high house prices and dead end jobs. Maybe, just by saying that the market is screwed and that its hard will help us all blow off some steam. Maybe, it’s good moan about and acknowledge the situation. Once we vent, it’s easier to see the plus side of all this. That actually, the sales dominated job market creates opportunity for those looking for graduate careers. Boring office jobs are providing the push to candidates to get out there and work in more colorful job markets abroad. Be it temporarily for a gap year or internship or longer term. If working abroad isn’t for you. It has never been easier for people to start their own enterprise. From blogging to making youtube videos to setting up a bespoke small business community through Social media.

As the old system of studying like hell and getting a good degree and good job are now dying out, there is a whole plethora of new opportunities for the modern graduate to embrace.

After all, who cares about a screwed up old old system, when a much better new one takes its place.