Master’s degrees make no difference to skill set, most employers say

Most employers do not believe postgraduate degrees give workers an edge in terms of their skills, a new poll has suggested.  The Independent reports.

Only 19 per cent of employers said graduates with a master’s had better skills than those who did not take a postgraduate qualification, a survey from the Institute of Student Employers (ISE) revealed.

The report shows no employers in the consumer goods sector valued the qualification, while only 6 per cent in the IT sector saw the benefits of a postgraduate degree. Only 12 per cent of employers said that postgraduate qualified hires progress more quickly in terms of salary than other hires, the survey revealed.

Stephen Isherwood, chief executive of the ISE, said: “In reality, most employers simply don’t discriminate between those with a master’s and those with a degree. They see them as the same.

He added: “Students shouldn’t expect employers to place a premium on the fact they have done a master’s. Just because you have been through the master’s process doesn’t necessarily prove that those skills will go through to the world of employment.”

The survey also revealed that employers are almost four times as likely to raise concerns about how apprentices dress for work in comparison to university graduates.

But there are little differences in key skills such as resilience, leadership and dealing with conflict.

Mr Isherwood said: “Graduates generally arrive more polished, with a better array of both technical and interpersonal skills and some cultural capital, but employers are less convinced that they outperform apprentices in more fundamental attributes.

“As apprentices acquire more skills and experience, they may well catch up and outperform those who have been through the graduate route.”

Read more Master’s degrees make no difference to skill set, most employers say

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