University Can Create Unrealistic Expectations


Many young people aspire to a rewarding career through a degree at University. Even some apprentices and more so their parents often think the University pathway provides a better outcome for a future career. If you are a tradie or working your way through an apprenticeship you might think life can be tough but the University alternative can be as tough, if not more so.



University graduate unemployment in Australia is currently at a 13 year high with one in seven looking for work. A number of graduates in work are not happy and marking time in dead end  temp jobs such as call centres, hospitality and driving taxis. Their degree has not led to the dream job they envisaged after they completed Year 12.


They say that completing university was such an anti climax. Their parents’ generation went straight into a career after completing university. This is not so today where new positions available do not match the numbers or skills produced by the higher education system. Some unemployed graduates are moving back in with their parents after months of unsuccessful searching for the right job. They can become anxious and despondent.

Also, the average student leaving university has a debt of more than $16,000. A recent graduate said his parents were married by 21 and had a house by the time they were 30. Today house prices remain out of reach for many graduates.

Many ‘twentysomethings’ live with a permanent sense of life FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). To cope with this stress, young people should stop worrying about what others are achieving and understand this is pointless. Recognising this is a form of maturity.

As a tradesman or an apprentice you should avoid FOMO and like many graduates, appreciate what you have achieved and be more realistic in your expectations.

In fact most apprentices and tradesmen have not missed out but have gained great skills and rewards from the trade which will continue to provide many career opportunities in the construction industry. Check also Career Pathway Choices put together by Construction Training Queensland, and while not current as some 10 years old, it is still a good comparison resource.

Visit our website for more information on bricklaying apprenticeships.

Geoff Noble

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