Greeks doubt value of degree

Four in 10 Greeks believe that a university degree does not help job seekers secure employment, while contacts and good appearance rank among the most important qualities an aspiring candidate should have, according to the results of a survey published yesterday. The survey, commissioned by Kathimerini, found that 14 percent replied that studies do not help much in securing work, while 26 percent said that they don’t help at all. Only 13 percent said that the level of education that a job candidate possessed «helped a lot.» With national jobless figures just below 10 percent, Greece has one of the highest unemployment rates in the European Union. Economists have pointed to structural rigidities in the economy as contributing to keeping jobless queues long despite recent years of strong economic growth. Being able to handle a computer topped the list of the skills needed to find work (97 percent), while foreign languages (96 percent) came in second place. The perception that networking is among the most important assets needed for success remains strong. Contacts and physical appearance were important qualities for 89 and 71 percent of respondents respectively. Difficulties women experience in the labor market were also reflected in the survey as they came across as being more pessimistic than their male counterparts. About 44 percent of females said that education does not help job seekers, while 35 percent of men replied likewise to the same question. Alternative attitudes to education also appeared among different age groups. A significant portion of respondents aged between 30 and 39 said that they had regretted studying, while only one in 10 above the age of 50 expressed the same regrets. The survey was held by TNSicap, which questioned 300 people in the broader Athens area from Wednesday to Friday.