Students and graduates are losing confidence in the once resilient banking and finance sector, according to Milkround.
The credit crunch and banking crisis have cut the graduate interest in banking and finance jobs in half.
Management consultancy and accountancy have emerged as the most attractive alternative options, two industries set to benefit as firms look to them for guidance on shoring up their finances.
Graduate recruitment website Milkround.com asked nearly 300 users for their views on job hunting in the wake of the credit crunch and banking crisis.
When asked if they had considered starting a graduate job in banking and finance before the credit crunch, nearly seven out of ten (68 percent) said they had.
However, that figure has dropped by nearly half to 36 percent and 38 percent said they have ruled out banking and finance completely compared to 21 percent before the crunch.
Common reasons for the changing attitude are a perception there are no positions available, a reduction in wages or bonuses and the prospect of tough times ahead.
One unlucky graduate suffered at the hands of the collapse of Lehman Brothers. They said: “I had a grad job at Lehman and have just lost it. No one is hiring, Deutsche won’t accept applications until 2010. For someone who just hit the wrong company it’s quite harsh.”
With many businesses reporting recruitment cut backs and redundancies, students and graduates are split on whether they expect to find work. Half are either “very confident” or “confident” of getting a job, but 39 percent are not confident and 12 percent are not confident at all.
Milkround.com spokesman Mike Barnard said:
“These figures just go to show the extent to which the confidence of working in the banking and finance sector has been shaken – but our survey does show that students and graduates still want jobs in the industry.
“However, with job security at a low and no sign of a recovery any time soon, there’s every chance when banks and financial institutions look to recruit, they could struggle to fill their vacancies – particularly at graduate level.”
When asked which industries appeal most as an alternative, management consultancy was the top choice with 36 percent and a third would opt for accountancy.
A quarter (26 percent) would prefer business intelligence or market research now.
A contrasting career in advertising, marketing or public relations careers would be of interest to 22 percent, reflecting the attitude of the two thirds who would be prepared to retrain to find a role not connected to their degree.
Despite a majority accepting they may need to retrain to find work, new media and transport careers are least likely to be considered, each receiving consideration from just seven percent of respondents.
The credit crunch has had an impact on student and graduate spending: more than half (53 percent) said they have adjusted their budgets to cope with rising costs and debt.
Their top concerns over the next year are earning enough to get by (26 percent), getting out of debt (22 percent) and buying a house (20 percent).
Mike added: “Students and graduate jobseekers are going to need to keep an eye on their finances with rising costs during the economic downturn, reflected in their primary concerns of earning enough to get by and getting out of debt. Buying a house is an ambitious target, and, with few signs of the crisis clearing, it’s looking like there will be tougher times ahead.”