Class of 2013 values cash above all: Survey reveals GCSE students want good salary over career helping others


Richard Garner
Tuesday 20 August 2013 19:37

The Class of 2013 value money above anything else when it comes to what their priorities are on leaving school, according to research to be published later today.

A survey of almost 300 GCSE students, carried out by the professional services firm KPMG, reveals 66 per cent put earning a good salary as their top post-school priority - while only 35 per cent wanted to go into a career where they could help others.

In addition, just over one in four (27 per cent) wanted to set up their own company -rather than risk putting their future in the hands of someone else.

The figures also showed that only 35 per cent were worried as to whether their employers were socially responsible.

“The survey suggests that future school leavers are motivated by success rather than society when picking an employer,” the research added.

They did not believe, either, that it was necessary to get on with their bosses - with just 35 per cent saying it mattered whether they had a good relationship with their managers while 75 per cent though it essential to get on well with their fellow employees.

“Competitive remuneration continues to matter most,” said Robert Bolton, a partner at KPMG. However, he added that employers would have to recognise this generation’s “rising entrepreneurial energy” if they were effectively to engage their employees.

Today’s school leavers also do not want to work long hours to secure their rewards - with 62 per cent saying they would only pick a career which gave them a good work-life balance

They did not share the belief of employers that numerical and analytical skills were essential in an employee with only seven per cent indicating these would be important in 30 years time. They felt communication skills (cited by 44 per cent) and creativity (23 per cent) were more important than IT (20 per cent).

They also predicted the death of the email within the next 30 years with video messaging taking over from it - 62 per cent believed the importance of services such as Skype would continue to grow.

The survey concluded the Class of 2013 were “entrepreneurial, ambitious and drive by a desire to be financially successful”.

Meanwhile, a separate survey of almost 1,800 GCSE students revealed a third believed they were being “pushed” into going on to take A-levels and then go to university - rather than being offered advice about vocational routes or apprenticeships.

The survey, by the website, said just over half (51 per cent) were adamant they did not want to go to university while a further 12 per cent were unsure. Just 37 per cent were positively in favour of going.

“One thing has become clear from this research and that is that schools and colleges alike are failing young people when it comes to careers advice that doesn’t revolve around further education and going to university,” said Sarah Clover, its communications director.

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