40% of graduates already want to jump jobs to get ahead

July, 2022

Many of last year's graduates already want to leave their current job, as they revaluate the career decisions made during the pandemic and make plans to get ahead, reports the Prospects Early Careers Survey 2022

Prospects at Jisc surveyed more than 5,000 students and graduates to find out about their career plans for 2022. It found that last year's graduates were most likely to want to change jobs this year (40%), compared to earlier cohorts (average 30%). They reported that trying to be optimistic and motivated about their careers were among their biggest challenges.

One in five 2021 graduates are now working in jobs that they don't think of as a career and 60% want to switch industry entirely. Just over half said that decision was due to the pandemic. Creative arts and design, healthcare and psychology, and public services were the most popular potential new career destinations.

The survey also found that nearly half (48%) of last year's graduates are jumping jobs to further their career, indicating that the opportunity to develop and grow with their current employer isn't an option. Stagnant salaries and the rising cost of living are also impacting career decisions with 18% looking for a pay increase.

Charlie Ball, Prospects' labour market lead at Jisc said, 'Many of last year's graduates were worried about the state of the jobs market when they graduated and that led to some making hasty decisions when they left university. The current labour shortage, including a lack of graduates, means there are a lot of opportunities particularly for second or third jobbers and those wishing to move ahead.'

The Prospects Early Careers Survey 2022 showed that when looking for a new employer, graduates place most importance on training followed by career progression and a better work/life balance. Women are more likely than men to prioritise salary.

'Employers are grappling with retention problems right now, and in some sectors they are proving very tough to manage. The fact that there are structural issues in the economy, particularly with getting people in from outside the UK, means those shortages don't look likely to ease very soon. Talking to young workers about how they want to progress, offering relevant training and being flexible are important right now,' added Charlie.

The Prospects Early Careers Survey 2022 showed a decline in young people seeking careers advice, despite industry professionals being viewed as the most helpful. Prospects at Jisc is urging students and graduates considering job or career changes to seek advice.

Charlie said, 'Careers services adapted to the pandemic by offering remote support and virtual careers events, and many of those opportunities have continued yet there's been a drop off in students and graduates using them. There are more job opportunities and so graduates may well have more options than they think. It's important that young people make the right choices and professional careers advisors are best placed to help.'

Career advice as well as the Job Match online career planning tool can be found at Prospects.ac.uk.

Media enquiries

Clare Tregaskis, Prospects and Jisc Student Services, clare.tregaskis@jisc.ac.uk, 07792 429227

About the Prospects Early Careers Survey 2022

Students and graduates were surveyed during January and February 2022 to find out about their career plans and their experiences over the previous 12 months. The data is based on 5,255 responses.

About Prospects

Prospects has worked at the heart of higher education for nearly 50 years. Part of Jisc Student Services, the directorate collaborates with government, universities and employers to improve student and graduate career outcomes through information, guidance and opportunities. It includes Prospects.ac.uk, which is visited by 2.1 million students and graduates each month, Prospects Luminate and the UK's official postgraduate course database. Jisc Student Services also manages Prospects Hedd degree verification and fraud services.

About Jisc 

Jisc's vision is for the UK to be a world leader in technology for education and research. It owns and operates the super-fast national research and education network, Janet, with built-in cyber security protection.  Jisc also provides technology solutions for members (colleges, universities and research centres) and customers (public sector bodies), helps members save time and money by negotiating sector-wide deals and provides advice and practical assistance on digital technology. Jisc is funded by the UK higher and further education and research funding bodies and member institutions. 

For more information, contact kate.edser@jisc.ac.uk, or 07918 562869. Alternatively,  use media@jisc.ac.uk or 07443 983571.

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