University careers advisers are “doing a good job under trying circumstances,” according to Dr Dan Ferrett at the Oxford Brookes University Careers and Employment Centre.

In an exclusive new interview with Graduate Fog, Dr Ferrett defended university careers advisers against your accusations that their approach is out-dated and fails to provide adequate help for graduates entering today’s tough job market.

Dr Ferrett refused to accept blame for any part of the graduate unemployment problem – and said your accusation that uni careers services are ‘stuck in the past’ was “a bit unfair.” He insisted his department at Oxford Brookes had “made serious attempts at modernisation.”

In an interview that many frustrated job-seeking graduates will find astounding, Dr Ferrett:

–  denied that university careers advice isn’t working (“We get some fantastic feedback from the work we do. What is your measure of ‘isn’t working?'”)

claimed uni careers advisers are being unfairly blamed for the graduate unemployment problem (“It’s unrealistic to suggest that university careers services can come up with comprehensive solutions to a global economic crisis”)

said graduates should lower their expectations about what their degree is worth (“Too many students still think that just having a degree will secure them a good job – it doesn’t!”)

insisted his department does not take bribes to promote certain careers resources (“I can give you a categorical assurance that we do not promote one careers publisher over another for money”)

urged students and graduates to take charge of their future (“They have to take some responsibility above and beyond turning up with a CV and saying ‘I don’t know what I want to do.'”)

What does Graduate Fog make of all this?

Well, I accept that university careers advice is not solely responsible for the graduate unemployment problem. However, I do feel that it is a vital piece of the puzzle – and one which needs urgent attention and improvement.

I’d like to thank Dr Ferrett for agreeing to be interviewed by Graduate Fog. Although I don’t agree with everything he says, I do think starting an honest conversation about this subject is a vital first step to improving university careers advice in the future.

*Have I been too harsh – or not harsh enough?!
Click here to read the full interview with Dr Ferrett.

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