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Why is it so hard to find good jobs at Universities?

When it comes to working for an employer in the UK, there’s no denying that UK universities offer some of the best benefits to their staff; hence the high demand to work at one. The University of London, in the UK, for example offers its staff a broad set of benefits, including up to a month’s annual leave, a mature training and educational program, family and health benefits and much more.

These benefits help to support Teachers in the UK with their well-being and to continually learn new skills all without any additional financial worries for the individual. They can also provide housing for teachers on campus, which is usually a lot cheaper for them instead of renting in a different location. Renting a flat close to a university can be very expensive as you’ll be competing with a lot of students.

They also have the potential to pay more money than other UK teaching jobs.  A university professor in England can earn in excess of £63K per year, with similar remuneration in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.  Because of the higher salaries and generous employment benefits, getting a job at a UK University has become more challenging.

It’s extremely competitive

It can be difficult to find your ideal job these days, especially as there is an abundance of competition across most sectors/industries.  When you apply to a new role that’s advertised online, your application is rivaled against hundreds of other candidates.  The proportion of applications per role for university jobs online are high and there’s a good chance that the recruiter won’t have time to review and appreciate yours for several weeks.

There was a professor who mentioned on Reddit that when she interviewed at a university, she never heard back from them for nearly two and a half months. Then they finally sent her a rejection letter saying that they found somebody else who was a better fit for the role.

It has become much easier for people to apply for a job in England from any country in the world, thanks to the internet. The number of applications that a university receives isn’t just from people who are based in the United Kingdom. A lot of job seekers apply from overseas because most universities can provide them with employment visas, especially if they are suitably skilled. This has doubled the competition for those who live in England. By using programs such as Skype and Zoom, a university can interview candidates who live abroad very easily.

Fewer positions available

A lot of schools and universities in the United Kingdom are facing budget cuts. Schools are losing billions of pounds each year, and many would argue there isn’t enough support from government funding anymore. The cost of running a university is extremely high, and schools can’t increase their tuition fees any further.

According to the Russell Group, many universities are being forced to cut down their tuition fees back to around £7,250 from £9,250 per year. University leaders have protested this decision because the fee itself barely covers their classroom costs, and a further reduction would put them in a very difficult situation. The British government is still providing them with some funding but that’s only for students who are studying STEM courses such as Engineering, IT, Mathematics, and Science.

Schools are suffering from a lot of money problems right now, and the only way for them to survive is by reducing their operating costs even more. This means that they may let go of more members of staff who aren’t teaching STEM courses. They are also planning to lower the number of students who enroll in Humanities and Arts degree programs. Now, around 53% of students in England are enrolled in non-STEM programs and their tuition fees aren’t subsidised by the government.

Universities are being forced to focus more on STEM subjects now. They will have more degree programs that fall under this category and reduce the number of any other courses. This will make it harder for teachers to get a job at a university if they’re in any other field other than STEM.  The ones who are currently hired to teach non-STEM subjects might also see a reduction in their salaries if fewer students can enroll in their classes each year. Koen Lamberts from the University of Sheffield said that “There is only so much teaching we can provide at a loss. Of course, we want to see science, engineering, and math’s protected, but linguists and economists are vital for the economy too!”

This shows that demand is going to shift in a very big way towards only a handful of courses at universities. Unless you’re a teacher for STEM courses, it could become harder to find a job or get paid as well for one.

The rise of online programs

A lot of UK students can’t afford high tuition fees to study at universities anymore. Many of them aren’t applying for an undergraduate program after graduating from the sixth form. They prefer to start working to earn money right after high school and that’s why there’s been such an increased demand for flexible online courses.

There are many online degree programs that a student can study from the comfort of their home, and it’s much cheaper. The tuition fees for online degrees cost between £1,000 to £5,000 GBP, while it’s £9,000 GBP if a student studies full time on campus (and that’s before you factor in accommodation etc). The only course requirement for a lot of these programs is to have a stable internet connection and be able to submit coursework online, ontime. Online degree programs are also able to enroll an unlimited number of students from around the world and have very little operating costs. Traditional universities can’t hire as many teachers in classrooms anymore because they are losing too many students to online degree programs.

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