Undergraduates favour public sector

Public
sector jobs offer a healthier work-life balance and are seen as more attractive
to people who don’t want to sacrifice their social life to climb the career
ladder, according to a new survey of more than 2,000 undergraduate students.

The
research, conducted by GTI Specialist Publishers, also reveals that the sector
is considered more secure than the private sector.

The
private sector is still seen as less bureaucratic and better paid, but there is
a strong perception among undergraduates that employment in the public service
promises greater job stability, fewer hours and a better work-life balance.

More
than 55 per cent cited job security as a reason to work in the public sector,
and nearly as many regard work-life balance as an important career goal and
motivation tool.

In
addition to work-life issues, the public sector appeals because of more
traditional, ethical reasons.

The
survey reveals that the Civil Service is the most popular career choice in the
public sector.

Kevin
Thompson, a careers adviser at the University of Reading said, however, that
there were still image problems associated with the public sector and work
needs to be done to combat student stereotypes.

"This
is reflected by a high level of interest in those elements of the public sector
with a distinct brand image, such as MI5 or GCHQ,” he said.

The
report also shows that students are unhappy about the current lack of
information and recruitment literature on opportunities in the public service
compared to commercial careers.

The
survey of more than 2,000 students was conducted by doctorjob.com.

By Quentin Reade

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