IELTS Band Nine Sample: Does University Guarantee You a Good Job?

Two common topics in the IELTS writing exam are work and education. On this page, you can look at an IELTS band nine sample of an essay that covers both topics. Keep scrolling at the end of the essay for a breakdown of the vocabulary I've used. If you want to improve your writing, you…

Band Nine Sample Answer

Some people believe that a good university degree is a guarantee of a good job.
What is your opinion?

As the job market gets tougher, many students are hoping that a strong undergraduate or postgraduate diploma will secure their career success. In this essay, I will argue that a good degree is not necessarily enough to secure a dream job. First, because it is important for applicants to distinguish themselves from their peers through extracurricular activities. Second, because career success requires a range of non-academic skills.

First, if students want to work at a top company, they need to demonstrate other experiences to outcompete other well-qualified candidates. As the amount of funding for university students has increased, a greater percentage of young people have achieved good degrees. As a result, it is likely that for the best jobs, all applicants will have a good degree as a minimum. If students want to stand out, they will need to demonstrate additional experience. For example, all other things being equal, a student who was the president of a university sports team will be more employable than someone without this type of experience.

Furthermore, while employers in the past may have prioritised educational background, modern hiring managers take a more holistic view of the skills necessary to succeed. Although a strong academic background shows intelligence and communication skills, companies recognise that other skills are just as important. For example, companies know that a book-smart employee who is not able to work as part of a team or take initiative may end up being a liability. Consequently, to secure a good job, it is essential to find ways to demonstrate these other skills.

In conclusion, I do not believe that a good degree is enough to guarantee a good job. To distinguish themselves from others, applicants need to have experience and non-academic skills.

Vocabulary Breakdown

This list contains some of the rarer language from the sample essay. Several of these words have more than one meaning. To keep things short, I have only given the relevant meaning for this essay.

Also called a bachelor’s degree. This is usually the first degree people receive and takes 3-4 years to study directly after high school.
Any degree of a higher level than an undergraduate degree. This can be a master’s, a doctorate, or a professional qualification like a law degree.
Another word for ‘degree’.
Someone who is applying for something.
To distinguish yourself
To show differences between yourself and others. This is usually in a positive way.
Something done outside of a school or university curriculum. This usually refers to sports and club activities.
To outcompete someone
To beat someone at something competitive.
If someone is employable, they have attributes that would make someone want to hire them.
A holistic view
A view that looks at every part of someone or something rather than just one aspect.
An adjective for someone who is good at academic work but perhaps not so good in real-world situations.
Take initiative
If someone is able to take initiative, they are able to make decisions without being told what to do.
A person who is a weakness for a team.

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