Each year we survey thousands of students to discover their perceptions of the options available to them after school, college or university to give you unique insight into their decision-making journey.

For Options 2018/2019, we’ve collected responses from over 10,000 UK students aged 16+ to share their views on the pathway choices available to them and their expectations for the future.

The report looks at the motivations behind students’ choices, the usefulness of information to support their decision-making journeys and how they feel during this important transformation process.

For our sixth annual report, we explored student’s perceptions of the pathway options available to them, influences on decision-making, graduate careers and more. Family background had a strong impact on pathway choices and parents were influential at every stage, from deciding on a pathway through to selecting a graduate career.

Securing a good job was the main motivator for respondents regardless of background or pathway choice; they think about career development and progression and have high expectations of their first graduate job.

Unsurprisingly the vast majority of respondents were considering university pathways, but interest in apprenticeships from respondents had increased over the years. There was still a stigma associated with apprenticeships, but respondents didn’t think they led low income employment.

Key insights include: 

  • Those from widening participation backgrounds were more likely to limit their university choices based on the cost of living
  • Increasing tuition fees and student debt remain key barriers for students choosing not to go to university
  • An increased proportion of gap year respondents planned to do an apprenticeship afterwards
  • Regardless of the route taken after school or college, respondents were equally confident their chosen path would lead to their dream job

These are just some of the significant takeaways from this year’s report, which showcases key findings from a range of themes including: Satisfaction at university, Studying STEM subjects, Fast-track degrees, Widening Access and Participation and more.

Read the full report by downloading your digital copy for free today!