Students should stop worrying about work

Students and their families are being encouraged to stop getting “too fixated” on finding a job after university by the former head of UCAS, Mary Curnock Cook.

Speaking with The Telegraph in her final interview before stepping down as the head of UCAS at the end of this month, Curnock Cook believed that focusing on getting a career after university is placing too much pressure on students.

Instead of jumping straight into the job market after graduation she advised that students should move back home with their parents. She says: “Students may need to take some down-time after the stresses of finals and dissertations. I don’t think there’s any harm in doing temporary, voluntary or non-graduate work to fill the gap before finding something more permanent.”


Curnock Cook deemed the idea of graduates getting a job in their preferred career within six months as unhelpful, and suggested that a period of rest is essential. However, people are now retaliating the comments made, arguing that in today’s job market students can’t afford to lounge about for six months before attempting to utilise their degree.

With many students leaving university with mountains of student debt and the continued stresses of life, it’s important for leavers to not be complacent in looking for work – after some well-deserved sleep, obviously.

James Uffindell, founder and CEO of Bright Network says: “In an ideal world, six months out is a good idea however in a competitive jobs market, students need to stay ahead of the game.”


Speaking with The Independent, James continues: “At the moment, there isn’t time for students to take time out. They need to take the bull by the horns and use their time at university to explore their options and make connections to avoid being left behind after graduating, not wait six valuable months to get onto the careers ladder.”

What do you think about Mary Curnock Cook’s comments? What are your plans for after graduation? If you’ve already graduated, did you find it easy to get into employment after leaving university? Has your degree come in handy? Let us know on Twitter @SourceMag.

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