With Christmas around the corner, it is the start of the time of the year when internships, work placements, LinkedIn profiles and masters’ degrees are in the process of being decided upon. I have many fears in regard to “where I’m going to be doing a masters?”, to what grade I get and what I am going to be doing in the summer with no schemes like Camp America or travelling to do.
With a globalised world with worldwide social media and infinite options for our lives, it is a different world from which our parents lived in. Back in those good old days, there was the security of getting a start on the housing market, a guaranteed job of some sorts, and the possibility of earning enough money to survive in even the harshest of all climates, London.
Furthermore, the job market has changed massively since then with the rise of zero-hours contracts, the gig economy and robots (not the I, Robot style, but the blasted machines that are able to do jobs) or put in a better way, the automation of work. Although, it has made the job market more flexible, the gig economy has made even Instagram a place of competitiveness as depending on your followers, you can earn money through photos and likes. Now, Boris Johnson would not have had to think about that, when he was contemplating a job in a high office while at Eton.
According to the Longitudinal Education Outcomes (LEO) dataset, “York is the second in the Russell Group for the percentage of graduates who are in further study or employment after one and three years”. It is a positive that York is so high, but it does not specify what type of jobs these students are in or what further study they are doing. For all I know, that could be working shifts in a dinge pub in Scunthorpe with some old guy ordering a token Tetley’s everyday and few old guys standing around him, gathering a stench of cigarettes and regret.
This can be seen in the thoughts of some students. For example, Fintan Purcell, a first year studying English believes that ‘Few people seem to know what that career is going to be and those who do are unusual in their ambition. It’s a terrible time to look to the future when we’re still in the midst of an economic slump. There’s no tangible areas of opportunity at the moment. All you hear is how much of a battle it’s going to be to get any sort of job worthy of your time at university.’
There are thousands of statistics like those given by the LEO, showing how students are often in further education or work just after leaving university. But, for all the statistics, it never stops students and myself included, worrying about what the future holds. The worry is that if we don’t get the internship at Deloitte or some a vacation scheme, our lives as we know will be over.
There are other options, like travelling, travelling, yes, I have done it. Given I took a “gapyah” to Australia and France. While travelling can sometimes do more harm than good, it can be useful to get your head straight and meet a nice Australian girl or Argentinian man or to visit the token “gapyah” locations such as Bali.
In addition, you are most likely to be around 21, so you have loads of time to make a decision about what floats your boat in terms of careers, so don’t hastily think you want to be a fancy lawyer or a jock on the trading floor acting like you are Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street. Even if you don’t have any idea what you want to do, you can always just join the good old seasonal workforce and spend a summer in America or Australia picking fruit in the Antipodean sun, just like me.