Graduates shun financial sector in search of ‘safer’ jobs

New graduates are shunning careers in the financial sector and opting for ‘safer’ jobs in the marketing, media and creative sectors, according to a new survey.


A fifth of people with newly qualified degrees would rather go into creative industries they believed to be less affected by the credit crunch than start a career in the financial services industry, according to a study of 1,400 graduates by recruitment firm Reed.co.uk. Just 4% would choose finance, 2% banking and 3% accounting in the current climate.


In the past month alone, banks including Bradford & Bingley, Alliance & Leicester and HSBC have together had to make thousands of job cuts because of the current economic turmoil. Investment bank Lehman Brothers went bust last month, and the proposed takeover of HBOS by Lloyds TSB will result in yet more job losses.


But Reed.co.uk warned the impact of graduates’ career decisions not to go into banking or financing could have a “longer term impact on the pace of economic recovery in the UK”.


Mark Rhodes, head of marketing, said: “We are seeing that graduates are shunning the traditional [City] jobs and looking for opportunities in different sectors.”


More than half of the graduates surveyed also felt concerned about finding a job in the current economic climate. A quarter even admitted they would consider sacrificing up to 5% of their salary in exchange for job security for three years.


Other findings




  • Two-thirds of graduates believed the private sector was more affected by the credit crunch than the public sector.


  • More than one in four graduates cited their biggest fear for the coming years in terms of employment was that there wouldn’t be enough jobs.


  • More than half of the respondents applied for more than five jobs since graduating, and still haven’t found one.

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