The most ambitious and determined generation for years

Whitepaper-CS-thumbnail

In March 2010 The Student Room conducted research among 1,010 users of it’s website, including sixth formers, undergraduates and graduates. The findings provide new insight into the career aspirations and motivations of British young people and graduates. There are clear lessons for the recruitment sector.

Click here to see the full white paper


Summary of findings

Employers will need to change their graduate recruitment strategies as research reveals a new generation of university leavers are focused, ambitious and following long-term career paths.

And this trend is set to continue, as the next wave of graduates make their career decisions earlier still.

According to new research from The Student Room, the UK’s leading student social networking site, a majority (56 per cent) of working graduates deliberately chose their current job as it would provide a boost towards their preferred, long-term career.

Far from a stop gap role, they are taking it upon themselves to maximise their employability and get the most out of these so-called ‘booster’ jobs. Forty per cent are using their current role to hone their skills, 32 per cent to gain the experience they need for their chosen career and 21 per cent to get foot in the door to their ideal job.

Their sense of determination is reflected in the fact that eight out of 10 (83 per cent) graduates are clear that they will eventually work in their preferred career.

They are also prepared to take several steps to fulfil their long-term ambitions. Half of today’s university leavers (48 per cent) expect to have three or more careers during their working lives – and one in 20 (four per cent) more than five.

This means companies will need to change their thinking about recruitment and retention. Quality graduate entrants will no longer be 21-year-olds fresh from university, and may require a range of remuneration and benefits packages to remain in a job – especially if it is seen as only a stepping stone to another position.

To read the full report click below
TSR Recruitment trends whitepaper (March 2010)

  • http://graduatefog.co.uk Graduate Fog

    It’s great to see young people so optimistic and determined to make their careers work for them, despite the economic conditions. But I wonder how many of the people TSR interviewed were fresh graduates (ie class of 2010) – because if you ask the class of 2009, you might get some quite different responses.

    My immediate question is, how many of these ‘booster’ jobs are actually paid? Because when you say:

    “they are taking it upon themselves to maximise their employability and get the most out of these so-called ‘booster’ jobs. Forty per cent are using their current role to hone their skills, 32 per cent to gain the experience they need for their chosen career and 21 per cent to get foot in the door to their ideal job.”

    … alarm bells are ringing – this suggests two words to me – ‘unpaid internship’. In which case we should ask – Are these grads really on their way to paid work, just around the corner? Is their optimism founded on fact, or is it just blind faith?

    One of the many reasons why unpaid internships are so corrosive is because they give the impression that a graduate is making progress towards their career goal, when often they are not… As founder of GraduateFog.co.uk, literally HUNDREDS of my users have told me they are furious at having been ‘strung along’ for months, sometimes YEARS in industries where they now see that employers had no intention of every paying them properly for their work.

    All around the country, hundreds of thousands of employers are taking advantage of graduates’ desperation for experience and convincing them to work for nothing. Unpaid internships exploit those who do them, and exclude those who can’t afford to do them.

    Likewise:

    “Their sense of determination is reflected in the fact that eight out of 10 (83 per cent) graduates are clear that they will eventually work in their preferred career.”

    Again, I’m sorry to sound like the angel of death (!) but this sounds like blind faith to me… Determination to make something true is NOT enough to actually make it so! Again, unfortunately my opinion is formed from what my users are telling me, day in, day out. The reality is that it is extremely tough out there. My users are telling me that at the same time as a degree has never been more expensive, it has never been worth less. Media graduates are finding it particularly harsh – which could have something to do with the fact that the number of places on these courses is enormous compared with the number of jobs available in this industry when they leave.

    Tanya de Grunwald
    Founder, GraduateFog.co.uk