Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Annual survey reveals key differences in attitudes, hopes and fears of undergraduates, depending on the careers they are targeting

Each year, GTI Media conducts a survey of around 3,000 undergraduates interested in these key sectors of work: Law, Engineering, Investment Banking, Construction, IT, Accountancy

Each year, GTI Media conducts a survey of around 3,000 undergraduates interested in these key sectors of work:

  • Law
  • Engineering
  • Investment Banking
  • Construction
  • IT
  • Accountancy

At the same time we survey recent graduates who left university in the last two years to take up jobs in these sectors. We asked students about their degrees, why they chose jobs and employers, how they found careers information, their application strategy etc. We asked recent graduates to look back and estimate how their degrees prepared them for work, how they were enjoying their jobs and what they planned to do in the future.

For the first time we compared responses across the six sectors as it’s fair to say that the views of would-be lawyers are sometimes different from would-be engineers.

Here are some of the highlights from the 2013 surveys:

  • Students interested in construction are the most confident about getting a job in their chosen field.
  • Those interesting in engineering are the least likely to be looking at alternative careers.
  • Undergrads wanting to be bankers are the most likely to have a fall-back plan if they don’t get in.
  • Would-be lawyers start career planning the earliest of all groups but are the most pessimistic about their futures.
  • Female IT applicants are not put off at all by the fact that IT is a male-dominated sector – but they want to see more senior female figures around.
  • One of the most pressing demands of accountancy hopefuls is to join a firm with a diverse workforce.
  • Students interested in technical careers feel better prepared in terms of soft skills than those interested in finance and law.
  • Students interested in IT careers are less enthusiastic than others about engaging with employers via social media.
  • Students interested in becoming engineers were keenest to ensure that their careers made a positive contribution to society.
  • High starting salary was most important to students interested in investment banking but would-be lawyers were most drawn to the intellectual challenge the work provided.
  • Would-be IT specialists started career planning the latest of all.

All six Sector Reports and the Sector Comparison data can be downloaded from the GTI Media site: