With unemployment numbers sitting where they are, you would think that schools and universities would be doing all they can to help place students into jobs upon graduation. But, despite having the skills employers want, nearly half of young people are missing out on career opportunities due to a lack of information from schools and universities.
New research reveals that 41 percent of students do not feel well-informed about the range of careers open to them. Only 13 percent feel their education institutions have fully equipped them to make career decisions. CompTIA surveyed more than 1,000 students to understand what motivates them.
The vast majority of respondents showed themselves to have skills employers want. They are hard working (89 percent), quick learners (79 percent), good at solving problems (76 percent), have communication skills (71 percent) and are able to work in a team (78 percent). Furthermore, most students are ambitious with a clear idea of what they expect from their future professions. A good salary (85 percent), variety (66 percent) and ongoing development (62 percent) are the most important considerations.
Respondents in the CompTIA survey want schools and universities to do a lot more to help them understand career options:
• 55 percent want information integrated into school lessons about what careers different subjects can lead to
• 61 percent feel they need more information about careers other than those directly related to their field of study
• 51 percent want better careers advice at school or university.
This trend is particularly notable in IT and technology, which is struggling to attract the 110,400 new entrants a year it needs to keep up with the industry’s growth.
According to Kevin Streater, executive director for IT Intelligence at the Open University:
“For far too long there has been a false assumption that IT is too technical for most people to get into. The reality is that anyone who is educated, motivated and passionate about technology should consider a career in the industry. At its core, it is very much a career where you can keep learning, keep developing and keep your hands on technology. Contrary to popular opinion there are plenty of unfilled vacancies for young people, and plenty of young people with exactly the right aptitude and ambitions to fill them. The problem is largely one of making young people aware of these opportunities and how to get into them.”