More than two-thirds (68%) of UK recruiters believe that degrees are only important for securing jobs that specify the need for one, according to research from CV-Library.
The survey also found that 84% of recruitment professionals believe a degree is becoming less necessary to securing a job, and under a quarter (24%) think the number of graduate job opportunities will rise.
Looking ahead to 2025, 47% of respondents said they think degrees will have less value than they currently do. By comparison, 34% of recruiters believe that degrees will be of the same value as they are today, leaving just 19% who say they will be more important.
CV-Library's founder and managing director Lee Biggins said it’s not surprising opinion is divided on the value of a degree.
“There has been lots in the media recently regarding the importance of work experience and this really highlights that,” he said. “Degrees can be a valuable tool to jobseekers, but it’s equally important for candidates to ensure they have a strong balance of work experience and qualifications if they want to be successful in their job search.
“For anyone looking to start a career in a specialist industry, or in a role where a degree is mandatory, then degrees are still essential. Understandably a number of industries, such as the medical sector, require applicants to have extensive qualifications and training before starting a job, so the best way for them to progress is to go to university and follow traditional entry methods,” he added.
Biggins also advised recruiters to consider the value of non-university qualifications. “Recruitment methods are constantly evolving and this is another example,” he said. “We are finding that businesses are more open to reviewing a candidate’s skills and experiences alongside a degree. We’re also finding an increasing number of people obtaining recognised industry skills and certificates later in their careers, once they are clearer on the direction they want to take.
“The value of these more specialist qualifications can sometimes outweigh a degree and, in these cases, make recruiters more amenable to certificates and diplomas gained outside of university.”