January 5, 2018, by Carla Froggatt
Take the Trendence Survey: What Are Your Career Aspirations?
The Trendence graduate survey is an annual research piece which analyses the careers aspirations of students across the UK. In 2016/17 we surveyed over 62,000 students – including over 1,300 University of Nottingham students – and here is what we found…
1. Nottingham students take part in lots of extra-curricular activities
We asked what type of work experience or activities Nottingham students have undertaken to date. We found that almost 85% of Nottingham students had been involved in extra-curricular activities, in comparison to a UK average of 75%. The extra-curricular activities include student societies, an ideal place to develop key transferable skills, such as team-working and leadership skills.
2. ‘Culture’ factors are important
When considering what factors are important about a potential employer, ‘culture’ plays an important role. This means there is a demand for employers who offer a good work-life balance, friendly atmosphere and job security. These attributes were deemed more important than a high starting salary, or an employer with status and prestige.
By the time Nottingham students reach final year, expectations shift slightly. A higher importance is placed on attributes such as personal and training development.
3. Male students expect a higher salary than female students
One of the most significant findings of the research was a large disparity in terms of expected income between male and female students. Male students at Nottingham were expecting over £3,000 more per year in their first job after leaving university in comparison to their female counterparts.
4. Careers fairs are a popular choice for engaging with employers
When employers come onto campus, careers fairs remain the most popular way for student to engage. Employer presentations, on-campus careers workshops and competitions are also preferred methods of engagement. However, these preferences shift over time. Final years have a higher interest in smaller groups or one-to-one meetings, such as attending networking evenings or dinners.
5. The East Midlands and London are preferred destinations
After graduation, there are two key destinations of preference: the East Midlands and London. Over 65% of students initially plan to look within these two regions for their first job, while others favour a return to their home region.
6. LinkedIn a heavily-used careers platform
The social media platform of choice for careers-related usage is LinkedIn. By final year, over 80% of Nottingham students confess to using the platform. However, this varies by subject, with students from courses such as sociology being less likely to use LinkedIn than students on business or engineering courses.
Tell us what’s important to you and be in with a chance to win a £100 Amazon voucher and an iPad Pro
The 2018 Trendence survey is now open. We want to know about your career aspirations and what help you might want to get you started when you graduate. This data will be used in the The Guardian UK 300, which lists the most attractive employers and offers advice about finding work.
We would really appreciate it if you took part. You’ll also have the chance to win some great prizes. We’re giving away £100 Amazon vouchers each week, and once the survey has closed two iPad Pros are up for grabs. It takes around 15 minutes to complete, is completely anonymous, and you can even do it on your phone. Take the Trendence survey today.