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UK graduates turn to finance


UK graduates turn to finance

The survey of 1,000 UK-based university graduates and students aged between 18-25 found that one in three (32%) graduates are not confident in their future career prospects in today’s economic climate, 10% higher than the global average.  

Graduates are most concerned about a lack of jobs and low pay in their preferred sector, reflecting the impact of continued economic uncertainty. 

These concerns are driving graduates to high-paying, stable careers like finance. UK-based graduates and students ranked finance as the most stable and attractive career choice for the second year in a row, ahead of fields such as STEM, IT & telecoms, and healthcare. 

Three in five (61%) respondents also think that AI, automation, and machine learning will make it harder to secure the job they want. However, they believe that understanding this technology will be important to career success with nearly nine in ten (88%) believing learning about AI would benefit their career prospects.  

Despite concerns around the current job market, graduates aren’t prepared to compromise on their values and want a job that will enable them to make a positive impact. The survey found that compared to 2023, UK-based graduates today are more likely to say it is very important to make a positive societal and environmental contribution through their career. 

Peter Watkins, Senior Director, University Programs at CFA Institute said: 

“Graduates are being hit hard by the current economic climate. This is reshaping the career landscape for young people, driving them towards higher paying jobs that they perceive as more stable. However, despite a tough job market, Gen Z are not prepared to compromise on their morals and values as they search for a career. Careers in finance are proving popular as they offer the promise of stability, whilst also offering the chance to make a positive impact.” 

More than half of the respondents also said that work experience (57%) and skills acquired (50%) will be the most helpful in giving them an edge in the job market, ranking higher than grades (31%) and the reputation of their course or university (26%).  

This desire for real-world expertise and a fear of being underqualified is leading graduates to seek out upskilling opportunities, particularly professional industry qualifications and certifications. The majority (93%) of respondents view upskilling and professional qualifications as important in the current job market, and three quarters (74%) believe they’ll help them secure higher earnings. 

While graduates are focused on acquiring real-world work experience and skills, confidence in higher education remains as four in five (79%) respondents felt their career prospects improved as a result of undertaking a degree, up from 75% in 2023.  

Peter Watkins adds: 

“Today’s graduates desire to attain real-world experience as they increasingly seek opportunities to differentiate themselves in a crowded job market. Organisations that continue to invest in upskilling and career advancement opportunities for their employees will be attractive to the next generation, who are keen to grow professionally.” 

Original Article: HRnews

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