Survey: What School Leavers Want in a Marketing Career

As school leavers receive their A-level results, new research by CIM sheds light on what the next generation of marketers are looking for from their future employers.

A survey of 500 young people aged 17-19, who have left school or college in the past six months, found that four in 10 (41%) are interested in a career in marketing. Around a quarter (28%) felt the best way to embark on that career was by going to university, a fifth (21%) said a trainee marketing job, and 14% thought the best route was through a marketing qualification.

The research also found that young women are more likely (45%) to want to work in marketing than men (34%). Of those going to university, 38% said they would consider a job in marketing, compared to 44% of those not going to university.

Job security and pay are top priorities

The new findings also suggest that the next generation of young people may have a different outlook to millennials who, according to previous research, put a job with meaning above one with high pay.

Rather than cutting-edge start-ups, or businesses focusing on delivering social good, respondents reported that their preferred employers are likely to be large, successful companies –job security and good pay are their top priorities.

The survey of future marketers found:

· Established firms vs innovative start-ups: 64% would choose to work in a multinational (36%) or established British firm (28%). Only a small proportion would prefer to work in an innovative start-up (11%), a small business (12%), or a charity or social enterprise (6%).

· High salary over social value: A high salary (44%) was viewed as more important than a career that helps people (33%).

· Successful business vs cutting edge: 60% said it was very or extremely important to work in a business that is successful, compared to 35% who said that it was important to work in a business at the ‘cutting edge’ of its industry, and the 28% who wanted to work for a prestigious brand.

Commenting on the research, Chris Daly, CEO of CIM said:

“This research sends an important message to businesses and marketing departments looking to attract the next generation of talent. We shouldn’t be surprised, in the current economic climate, that young people are prioritising job security in big established firms.

These young people have grown up during an extended economic downturn, so it may be that the stability and job security of large successful firms is what appeals to them most.”

Downbeat about the jobs market

When asked what they would be prepared to give up to secure their dream job, the benefit most respondents were prepared to sacrifice was a company car (48%). Meanwhile, only 39% said they would be prepared to work at the weekend, and only 29% would be willing to give up training.

The research also reveals thatthese next-gen marketers have a gloomy outlook about today’s job market.

Just half of school leavers(53%)feel optimistic about landing a job that they really want,while others believe difficulty achieving the right qualifications (34%), and difficulty developing the right skills (27%) will prevent them from finding their dream job. A third (29%) of school leavers feel pessimistic about their career prospects, with young people living in London (49%) revealed as the most pessimistic in the UK.

Students opting to go to University are more optimistic (60%) about their job options compared to those not going to University (47%). The research also shows a gender split, with women more pessimistic (32%) about their job prospects than men (21%).

“It’s worrying that so many young people feel pessimistic about the job market – and that in many cases, what they are most concerned about is having the right skills or qualifications to find a job they love,” Chris Daly added.

“Across all professions, access to training should be a business requirement rather than a nice-to-have. Marketing is a good example of a sector that has clear training and progression opportunities, not only for those looking to enter the job market for the first time, but at every stage to help support learning and development."

Discover if you’ve got what it takes to make it in marketing.

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