LONDON, May 17, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- 'Degree creep' is causing employers to overlook valuable candidates, according to research conducted by distance learning specialist Home Learning College*. A survey of senior decision makers in UK businesses revealed that 32% have noticed degree creep in their industry - defined as an increasing number of graduate-only roles - despite only 26% saying that graduates make better employees.

The survey revealed that 56% of business leaders strongly believe degrees have been devalued and do not guarantee high-quality employees. A further 51% think that many degrees are worthless and don't merit the paper they are printed on.

In response to recent higher education funding cuts and rising graduate unemployment, Home Learning College is urging employers to combat degree creep and pay greater attention to candidates with relevant vocational qualifications. Research findings suggest that this approach could make UK businesses more competitive, with 67% of business decision makers stating that vocational courses are better at developing industry-specific knowledge and skills than academic study.

Home Learning College Academic Director Dave Snow thinks it is time for employers to re-consider their hiring strategies and give greater credence to vocational qualifications. He comments: The recent recession has only served to exacerbate the trend of demanding degrees for positions that would previously have been available to non-graduates. This would be understandable if a degree was the best way of indentifying high quality candidates, but our research shows that this is not the case. In fact, over half of respondents said some graduates would have been better taking a more vocational route into their industry.

We are actively encouraging employers to think beyond degrees and to develop more inclusive recruitment schemes that will indentify talented individuals, no matter which educational path they chose.

For more information on Home Learning College please visit

*Conducted among 150 organisations, ranging from micro businesses to blue chip companies with over 250 employees

About Home Learning College

Home Learning College is the largest vocational distance learning provider in the UK, and is accredited by the National Union of Students (NUS), allowing its 65,000 students to enjoy the discounts and services available with the NUS Extra Card.

All Home Learning College courses lead to professional CV-enhancing, employer recognised qualifications, including AAT, Sage, CompTIA, Microsoft, ICB and CIW. Subjects covered include book-keeping, accounting, IT and computing, web design and many more.

Home Learning College students benefit from a dedicated in-house tutoring service and the Virtual Learning Community - an online learning environment which facilitates the delivery of course material and peer networking.

For more information on all Home Learning College courses visit

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Contact: Tor Goldfield Home Learning College Communications Manager Tel: +44(0)20-8676-6258 Mobile: +44(0)7843-335606 Email:

SOURCE: Home Learning College

CONTACT: Contact: Tor Goldfield, Home Learning College CommunicationsManager, Tel: +44(0)20-8676-6258, Mobile: +44(0)7843-335606,