Jobs in Higher education in European

McKinsey published this week a large study on the jobs markets outcomes of higher education.

The basic conclusion is that from employment point of view, European education is - on 'average' - not exactly fit for purpose.

I know, this is bordering on soliciting nasty responses from Irish academic establishment. Last time I dared criticise some of the practices witnessed in our higher education, I had triumphant academics denouncing myself across their blogs, as if the louder the chorus, the closer to truth the arguments get. Still, caveats on McKinsey research aside, the paper does present worrying conclusions and some evidence.

Read it for yourselves here:
- Global study:
- European study:

Note that Ireland is not explicitly covered in the study, so any analysis would have to be on the foot of comparatives to other systems. I am not going to provide this here.

In the nutshell, McKinsey suggests that educated Europeans are lacking basic work skills and that European education system is suffering from poor access, high cost, poor career planning and development, and lack of applied skills focus.

Evidence: "The conventional wisdom, of course, is that the financial crisis and slow growth are the reason so many are finding it difficult to find stable, full-time work of the kind that will allow them to raise families and evolve into productive adulthood. This is true, of course, but it is not the whole truth."

"Youth unemployment was at a high level in many countries long before the financial crisis began to bite. Compared to unemployment in the general population, youth unemployment is stubbornly high in Europe... For the EU as a whole, the youth unemployment rate has not dropped below 17 percent at any point this century." In other words: "… economic conditions are not to blame for the frustration of employers as they evaluate the skills of young applicants."

Per McKinsey survey: "Only four in ten employers surveyed, in widely different countries and industries, reported that they were confident they could find enough skilled graduates to fill entry-level positions."

Why? "In Germany, …32 percent of employers surveyed said that lack of skills is a common reason for leaving entry level positions vacant, because the labour market is tight; only 8 percent of youth are unemployed". On the opposite side of the youth unemployment spectrum: in Greece "…more than 55 percent of youth are unemployed. Even so, our survey found that 33 percent of employers regularly leave vacancies open because they cannot find the skills they need."

Expansion of Higher education in European

Journal of Higher education in European

Free Higher education in European

Cost of Higher education in European

Focus on Higher education in European