By Daniel Hunter

Nearly half the business owners in the UK think degree level qualifications are no use to candidates applying for jobs, according to a survey by XLN Business Services.

The survey of 551 entrepreneurs will be a further blow to graduates and students, who spend tens of thousands of pounds in the hope that a university degree will make them employable after university.

Of those business owners who took part in the survey, 44.3% said a degree level qualification was of no importance when they looked for a new employee and just 5.2% of business owners said a degree qualification was of high importance.

“Business owners are very sensitive to the law of supply and demand. In the past, university degrees were in short supply, tended to be held by the intellectual elite and business owners fought over each graduate available. Perceptions have now changed. A glut of newly minted grads means supply has now outstripped demand. Many in the business community are now more likely to see three years studying Facebook at the University of Skegness as demonstrating a lack of direction and drive rather than as a signal that someone has the skills and experience they will need in the workplace,” said Christian Nellemann, Founder and CEO of XLN Business Services.

Many business owners believe that although education is important, degree level education isn’t. They would value experience in the workplace over a degree when looking for a suitable candidate.

“A degree qualification can be important but not essential because it strongly depends on the industry. I think its far more important to be numerate. I’ve had graduates who can’t add up 2 times a dozen cupcakes! People need to know how to speak to customers as well and often a degree can’t teach you this,”said Donna Egan of the Buttercup Cake Shop in Kensington.

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