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employers tend to favour candidates who have strong hands-on experience, rather than a solid university degree.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

School and college leavers who aren’t willing to rack up tens of thousands of pounds in student debt can carve out a successful career in the digital sector according to the multi-award winning job board Bubble Jobs.

The job board, which specialises in advertising digital, eCommerce, social media and creative vacancies, has released statistics showing that just a fifth of all junior and graduate-level jobs advertised on their site in the last 12 months cited a university degree as an essential qualification.

The statistics come after thousands of college and sixth-form students received their A-Level results on Thursday, with a record number of students applying for places at university this year.

Despite this, an increasing number have shunned academia in favour of apprenticeships, training schemes and entry-level jobs in a bid to avoid the 27,000 GBP plus debt they could accumulate on the back of rising tuition fees.

The statistics released from Bubble Jobs also show that the average starting salary for those entering the digital sector comes in at 26,615 GBP – a figure which is close to the average amount of student debt graduates are accruing during their time at university.

Amy Edwards, Digital Marketing Manager for Bubble Jobs, said: “Due to the fast-paced nature of the digital industry, a lot of employers tend to favour candidates who have strong hands-on experience, rather than a solid university degree.

“Here at Bubble Jobs we truly believe that the digital industry offers lots of exciting career opportunities – and these statistics prove that having a university degree won’t necessarily put you ahead of other candidates when it comes to applying for jobs in the sector.”

The news comes just weeks before primary school teachers return to school to teach the government’s newly revised ICT curriculum for the second year running – an initiative which was implemented to tackle the UK’s growing digital skills shortage.

Despite being welcomed by the industry as a whole, the curriculum has received criticism for the emphasis it places on technical skills such as coding and web development, with many, including Bubble Jobs, claiming this doesn’t accurately reflect the wide range of careers available in the digital sector.

Over the last 12 months, only 43 per cent of digital jobs advertised on Bubble Jobs required the coding and technical skills being taught in the new curriculum.

Amy Edwards added: “These statistics support our belief that whilst the new curriculum is a step in the right direction, it fails to raise awareness of the full range of opportunities which exist in the sector – and that’s a real concern.

“Thanks to key initiatives like BBC Make It Digital and new digital colleges and schools like Manchester Creative Studio and the National College For Digital Skills, the digital industry is starting to be recognised as a viable and exciting career option for many – but we need to make sure that the curriculum being taught across our primary and secondary schools doesn’t just promote the idea that the digital industry is solely for programmers and developers.

“If this doesn’t happen, it’s likely we’ll continue to end up with a real disconnect and missed opportunities in terms of the skills that candidates have and the jobs being offered.”

Ends

NOTES TO EDITORS:
• The statistics were drawn from graduate and entry-level jobs posted on Bubble Jobs between 12th August 2014 and 13th August 2015

• Additional statistics are available upon request
• Bubble Jobs is a niche digital jobs board based in Tarporley, Cheshire

• Launched in 2011 by Adam Butwilowski, it is now a leading talent attraction portal for the digital industry

• Bubble Jobs specialises in advertising online marketing, eCommerce, social media, web development and design jobs from the country’s top employers and specialist recruiters

• The company’s Digital Career Portal is a free online resource available to young people considering a career in the digital industry: http://www.bubble-jobs.co.uk/career_portal

• Bubble Jobs website: http://www.bubble-jobs.co.uk

• For more information please contact Amy or Lauren at amy@bubble-jobs.co.uk or lauren@bubble-jobs.co.uk

• Alternatively, you can call us on 03300 883270

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