Graduates shun the City in search of ‘safer’ jobs

New graduates are giving employment in the financial sector a wide berth in search of ‘safer jobs’ they believe have been less affected by the credit crunch, according to a recent survey.

The poll of 1,400 graduates by recruitment site showed that the majority (20%) are moving towards marketing, media and the creative sectors instead. Just 4% of respondents said they would choose a job in finance, 2% in banking, and 3% in accounting in the current economic climate.

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

Their reluctance is understandable. Over the past few weeks, banks including Bradford & Bingley, Alliance & Leicester and HSBC have made thousands of job cuts between them, while investment bank Lehman Brothers collapsed altogether, and HBOS was taken over by Lloyds TSB, with the prospect of even further job losses.

However, warned that the impact of their career decision not to go into banking or financing roles could have a “longer term impact on the pace of economic recovery in the UK”.

Almost two-thirds of the graduates polled believed the private sector had been more affected by the economic downturn than the public sector, and more than half were ‘concerned’ about the prospects of finding employment in the current climate.

When asked about the sorts of considerations they were making when deciding where to work during the downturn, one in four respondents said they would consider sacrificing up to 5% of their salary in return for job security over the next three years.

Other findings from the survey showed that more than one in four graduates said their biggest fear for the coming years in terms of employment was that there wouldn’t be enough jobs available. More than half of the respondents had applied for more than five jobs since graduating, and still hadn’t found one.

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