What does a Graduate earn ?

A common question asked by anyone embarking on a period of study is how much a graduate can expect to earn. Although this is a very complex question, as a lot does depend on the individual in some careers, you can get rough summaries from website such as prospects.ac.uk and hotcourses.  One quick summary is available by clicking on  http://www.scholarship-search.org.uk/pls/mon/hc_edufin.page_pls_user_wage_predict?x=16180339&y=&a=220707 and selecting the area that interests a student.  These range from Arts. Designs & Crafts to Scientific Services and are summarised in terms of salary.  As they say in all the best adverts about Financial Advice these are examples only and not a guarantee any particular student could earn this much.  In some cases the amount of money it is possible to earn as a graduate may not seem a lot more than if they did not have a degree, but I always emphasise that some careers are graduate entry only, such as teaching, or overwhelmingly recruit graduates despite it not being a stated job requirement, such as media and publishing. This sort of Labour Market Intelligence is important and another factor in success for some graduates rather than others.  That is before we start mentioning what class of degree has been obtained and the 1st, 2ii and 3rd class implications!  The financial benefit of being a graduate will become an increasingly important area as we head into the future with the actual cost benefit analysis of Higher Education for the individual student coming into sharp focus.

Goodbye exams – Hello continuous e-assessment

As we get ready for the words to flow from all sides as the time for Clearing gets nearer I find the comments by Simon Lebus, chief executive of Cambridge Assessment, thought provoking to say the least. In brief he is saying that within the next 10 to 15 years we shall be saying goodbye to the old exam structure and moving toward a continuous assessment (ca) using e-technology for all exams. http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2009/jul/12/written-exams-computerised-testing  As advisers I expect that we have all dealt with students who, despite producing good work, find sitting exams so stressful that it can seriously impact their grades. It will be interesting to see how this progresses as the classic “sit down and write for 3 hours” exam is often seen as a final quality proof of the work that a student has taken in and can use to answer the questions set.  Thinking of some of the feeling towards ca we have seen so far it will not be a technical issue, but rather one of political perception.. It has been said that the current Government has concerns about ca and would like to look at  introducing “controlled assessment”, which could be done in school and supervised like exams, while the Conservatives are reported as wishing to go return to the high stakes final exams that were traditional, as they feel the continuous assessment approach has lost confidence with people http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/education/a_level_gcse_results/article6220846.ece