· Market research reveals that pride and purpose are among the top aspirations behind future career goals for current students and recent graduates surveyed in Newcastle
· Young people starting out are now having to consider a wider range of career options
· Many view teaching and education – a sector that is actively recruiting – as one that serves the most important roles in society, alongside healthcare and the environment
Market research released today reveals that pride and a sense of purpose are among the top aspirations behind future career choices for current university students and recent graduates surveyed in Newcastle.
A third (33%) of university students and recent graduates surveyed in Newcastle believe that knowing they are making a difference in the world is among their top career aspirations, as well as nearly half (46%) who said feeling a sense of pride when telling someone what they do.
The national survey of 2,000 current university students and those who have graduated within the last two years was carried out earlier this year for Get Into Teaching – the national campaign aimed at encouraging people to consider teaching as a career. It explores what this cohort believe they can bring to the workplace, as well as what they are seeking to gain from it.
Many young people will be at a crossroads this September – traditionally a time for personal reflection and setting new career goals – with new data from global jobs site Indeed revealing that graduate jobs postings in August this year declined by 28% compared to the same month last year2.
Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic many students and graduates are re-evaluating their future careers plans and considering which industries, or parts of society, they want to work in. Separate data shows there has been a major increase in teacher training applications in England over the last few months, compared to the same period last year3.
When it comes to attitudes to different sectors pre-Covid, the market research found that four in 10 (40%) students and graduates surveyed in Newcastle view the teaching and education sector as serving one of the most important roles in society, alongside healthcare and the environment.
From the teachers’ perspective
The survey for Get Into Teaching also asked current teachers in England what they think are some of the key attributes required to do the job, as well as the aspects of their profession that would most appeal to potential new recruits.
More than one in six (17%) students and graduates surveyed in Newcastle cited confidence and nearly a quarter (24%) determination amongst the qualities they most possess as a person. Nationally, teachers surveyed felt these same attributes (both 29%) helped in their teaching career, along with patience and a caring nature, when asked what helped them most to do their job well. Asked about the kind of things a career in teaching most enables them to do, more than two-fifths (43%) of teachers surveyed cited knowing that they are making a difference in the world.
Dr Anna Colton, Child & Adolescent Psychologist, said: “It’s human nature to search for meaning in our lives and in our careers. We all need a sense of purpose: a reason to get up in the morning and go to work. Never more has this been the case than since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, where we have all faced varying challenging circumstances. These have all focused our minds on our values, on the differences we want to make in the world and the legacy we want to leave.
“Everyone knows the profound impact that a great teacher can have; they are invaluable. It’s not only about the imparting of knowledge, it’s about the nurture, championing and cheer-leading of students, which can shape and transform their lives and the lives of those that they then effect. These teachers are never forgotten by those they influence so greatly. Knowing that one has such potential brings significant meaning, pride, fulfillment, purpose and sustenance to one’s work and life and it is not surprising, therefore, that so many young people are recognising this and choosing this wonderful career.”
Roger Pope, spokesperson for the Get Into Teaching campaign and a National Leader of Education, said:
“Our research underlines just how much emphasis university students and graduates are placing on finding both purpose and a role they can be proud of in their future career. It’s also encouraging to see the qualities or attributes that students and graduates will bring to the workforce, are the same kind of characteristics that teachers say help them the most to do their job well.
“As many young people cite teaching and education as serving one of the most important sectors in society, now could be the time for this socially-motivated generation to consider joining a profession that helps shape lives. Teaching provides a stable career with really exciting opportunities for progression. I would encourage anyone who is looking for a meaningful role that makes a difference to visit the Get Into Teaching website to find out more.”
The Get Into Teaching service has experienced advisers available to give free support and advice. For more information about teaching as a career and to register your interest visit: https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk or call the Get Into Teaching Line on 0800 389 2500.